How Does An Eye Doctor Test For Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to loss of vision. Unfortunately, without a comprehensive eye test it is very difficult for one to know whether they are developing glaucoma or not. The good news is since this disease develops over the course of many years if it can be caught early it can be slowed down and even cured. During the comprehensive eye tests the ophthalmologist will be looking to see if you have any optic nerve damage, whether you are experiencing vision loss and also if there is increased pressure in the eye.

It is not easy to diagnose glaucoma. That is why doctors use a series of tests to find out whether or not it is present. They will ask you about the overall eye health of both you and your family it seems to run in some families. They will also talk to you about any medications, prescribed or over the counter, which you may be talking. They will want to know about your overall health do you have high blood pressure, diabetes or any other chronic illness? They will need to know about any eye surgery or treatments that you have had done in the past. Once they have all this information it is time for the comprehensive tests to begin.

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Tonometry

This one is used to measure the pressure within the eye and it is done using an instrument called a tonometer. The doctor places a few eye drops in the eye and then puts pressure on the eyeball with a warm puff of air. 

Ophthalmoscopy

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve and this test is to see if there is any damage. The doctor uses eye drops to dilate your pupil so that he can see the optic nerve in the back. He then looks into your eye using a small microscope. If he finds that your eye pressure is high and the optic nerve doesnt look normal then he will order two more tests just to be sure that he has a glaucoma diagnosis. 

Perimetry

Glaucoma causes one to have blind spots and this test is to determine your range of vision. You will be asked to follow a small light and as you do it your doctor will map your vision. He may do this test several times just to be sure that he has the right map. Do not be concerned about vision loss at this point your blind spot will be restored back to normal with glaucoma treatments. 

Gonioscopy

This one tells the doctor whether the angle between your iris and cornea is correct, how wide it is and whether or not it is blocked. Again, eye drops will be used to numb your eye and then the doctor uses a contact lens that has a mirror mounted on it to get the information that he is looking for. 

Pachymetry

This one measures the thickness of your cornea the reason why you have blind spots is because your cornea thickens as a result of glaucoma. This test will help determine how much damage there i8s so that the ophthalmologist can determine the best course of treatment. 

What is the best way to prevent glaucoma?

Unfortunately, because it doesnt have any obvious symptoms it can only be detected through regular comprehensive eye exams. It is recommended that you have one every two years but if you are older they should be more frequent. If you are in your fifties you should get exams every 1 year and anyone who is older than 60 should have at least 2 exams a year.