The Zeiss Glaucoma Detection with Variable Corneal Compensation (or GDx VCC) is a diagnostic instrument that performs a non-obtrusive retinal scan to measure the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer without dilation. Changes in the thickness of the nerve layer is an early indicator of glaucoma, which often appears without warnings or symptoms.
Glaucoma damages the nerve fibers in the retina resulting in irreversible loss of vision. There is no cure for glaucoma and no way to reverse the damage inflicted by this disease. Studies show that more than 50% of individuals with glaucoma aren’t aware they have it until significant vision has been lost, so early detection is crucial to avoid irreparable loss of vision. If detected and treated in its early stages, blindness can almost always be prevented.
The Zeiss GDx VCC assesses the eye from both a structural and functional point of view detecting structural changes in the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), where early signs of glaucomatous structural damage appear. Dr. Diane Galbrecht says that the upgrade in technology had significantly altered how glaucoma is treated. ”Before we purchased the GDx for our practice, there was no way of digitally scanning the fundus to look for subtle changes. We relied solely on the patient’s symptoms and other test results to decide if the current treatment regimen is working.”
While older glaucoma tests measured eye pressure or the effect that glaucoma had on the patient’s overall visual field, the GDx uses a type of scanning laser to measure the thickness of the RNFl. The procedure is painless and is usually performed on an undilated pupil. The thickness of the RFNL is then compared with the nerve fiber layer of healthy, glaucoma-free patients.
Our eye doctors receive this information in the form of pictures, graphs and statistical data. And, because it can detect even very small changes when compared with previous GDx data, Dr. Galbrecht is particularly excited by the opportunity to effectively manage glaucoma conditions “The most exciting component is the ability to compare results from previous visits to current visits to notice and document small changes in order to manage and treat the patient better.”
Her patients see the benefit too. “Patients with glaucoma appreciate this test because they can see if there are changes from one visit to the next. This shows the patient that their current medication regimen is working or is not working.”
The Zeiss GDx is the gold standard in providing reproducible measurements of the RNFL parameters used in detecting and managing glaucoma. While nerve fiber analysis alone cannot provide a definitive diagnosis of glaucoma, the GDx provides us with data so that better decisions can be made regarding your treatment.
Click on the link below to read the full interview with Dr. Diane Galbrecht. For more Information about the Zeiss GDx and to schedule your eye exam using this advanced technology visit Our Olathe Eye Doctor.