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Ophthalmology

Compared to their human caretakers, cats do not see as much color. They make up for that deficiency with a wider field of view and a greater range of peripheral vision. That is why the experienced veterinarians at VCA Cat Hospital of Chicago recommend your cat receive a routine glaucoma exam as part of his or her regular wellness care.

Glaucoma is a relatively common condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases which results in damage to the optic nerve. This can be followed by a loss of vision and blindness. There are two types of glaucoma. Primary (or chronic) glaucoma is hereditary or develops as your cat ages. Secondary (or acute) glaucoma develops as the result of an injury or illness. Because secondary glaucoma can progress rapidly, it is considered an emergency situation.

Although some cats may have no symptoms in the earlier stages of glaucoma, signs will develop as the condition progresses.

Signs of glaucoma to look for include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Cloudy-looking eye
  • Bulging eyeball

A glaucoma exam is not only an effective screening measure for chronic and acute glaucoma. It can also help set a baseline measurement of your cat's normal intraocular pressure (IOP). Establishing an IOP baseline is important because the normal measurement can vary between breeds and even individual cats. This is a noninvasive, simple procedure that should not cause your furry friend any pain or discomfort. We apply a mild anesthetic eye-drop to ensure your cat is comfortable during the exam.

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