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Q: Why are retinal images and eye pressure checks important?

Posted January 15, 2014 in Advice Column, Grimes

A: “The reason that these tests are so important is because of glaucoma,” Dr. Matthew Howie says. “Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and can result in vision loss and even blindness,” he went on to explain.

Glaucoma is also commonly known as The Silent Thief of Sight. This is because the disease does not cause any pain or discomfort but it slowly makes it more and more difficult to see. The only way to find and diagnose glaucoma is through a comprehensive eye exam.

“We have implemented retinal imaging alongside of our regular pressure checks because glaucoma is such a serious disease, and early prevention is the key to keeping the symptoms to a minimum,” explains Dr. Howie.

He also says that of the estimated 3 million of Americans who have glaucoma, only half know they have it. Dr. Howie also says the most at-risk people are those with diabetes.

Information provided by Dr. Matthew Howie, O.D., Total Family Eye Care, 1451 S.E. Third St., Suite 400 Grimes, 986-1234,,

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