About Our Eye Examinations in Altoona, PA

What to Expect: Your Visit at Barrett Vision Center

Cataract, Diabetic, Retinal, and Glaucoma Evaluations

If you have been diagnosed with a cataract, suspect that you have developed this condition, or are experiencing a decrease in your vision, contact us for a complete evaluation. We will determine if a cataract is the source of your vision problem. If so, we will help you determine when it is the right time for it to be removed. Cataracts should be removed only when you feel they are causing problems. Since other eye conditions may cause similar symptoms, we take great care to examine your eyes thoroughly.

We will check your vision, prescriptions, motilities (how your eyes work together), eye pressures, pupil size, shape and reaction, as well as the curvature of your eye.

If you decide to have your cataract removed, our staff will work with you to schedule your surgery. Generally, surgical removal is performed on an outpatient basis, and is based on your convenience, desires, and medical coverage. We will work closely with your surgeon and often will see you the day after your surgery to provide your post-surgical follow up care.

Diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, ocular histoplasmosis, and retinal detachment cannot be diagnosed by looking in the mirror. Affected eyes usually look and feel normal. Sometimes, as in the case of diabetic retinopathy, your vision may be normal despite the presence of this potentially blinding eye condition. Only a thorough retinal examination through a dilated pupil can detect these problems.

At Barrett Vision Center LLC, our doctors use the very latest technology to identify retinal disease. Remember: having regular, comprehensive eye examinations is the best protection against the progression of diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases. It is recommended that all diabetic patients be examined at least yearly.

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, have been told that glaucoma is suspected, or are in a high-risk category for developing glaucoma, regular exams are highly recommended. With early detection and careful management, significant damage to your eyesight from glaucoma is almost always preventable; however, treatment cannot restore any vision that has already been lost. Therefore, careful management of this disease, including regular dilated eye exams, is essential to maintaining your vision.

What to Bring to Your Glaucoma Examination

At Barrett Vision Center LLC, our doctors use state-of-the-art technology to identify glaucoma. The diagnosis of glaucoma is not always clear-cut and simple, since individuals vary in their susceptibility to eye pressure. We are always careful to consider any additional risk factors that may contribute to the possibility of vision loss from glaucoma. Family history, general health problems (including diabetes and anemia), as well as prior eye trauma and race are all risk factors. We ask that you bring a list of risk factors, allergies, your medical history, insurance information, your eyeglasses (if worn), and any medications you are currently taking, especially eye drops, to your appointment.

Fluid Pressure in the Eye and Glaucoma

Several tests will be performed at your exam. Since increased fluid pressure in the eye plays a significant role in glaucoma, we begin by checking your intra-ocular pressure. Recent studies show that corneal thickness may play a role in the pressure reading obtained in your eye. An instrument called a pachymeter uses ultrasound to measure this thickness.

Zeiss Ocular Coherence Tomography and Gonioscopy in Altoona, PA

Since the optic nerve is the area that becomes damaged in glaucoma, we take color photographs to monitor any changes. We use our state-of-the-art Zeiss Ocular Coherence Tomography equipment to measure the fibers around the optic nerve to assess the amount of damage. This test may help to determine if you have glaucoma even before any vision loss occurs. We also test the peripheral and central vision using a computerized visual field analyzer at our office in Altoona, PA. Gonioscopy is a procedure that will help assess the drainage channel of the eye to help determine the specific type of glaucoma present.

Some tests may need to be repeated in future office visits to assess if the current treatments are preventing the progression of glaucoma. Even if you are not on medication but your symptoms indicate a likelihood of developing glaucoma in the future, it is important to perform these tests periodically to see if treatment needs to be initiated. Most, if not all, of these tests are usually covered by insurance.