Exams and Tests
Early detection and treatment of
glaucoma are important for
controlling the condition and preventing blindness.
A doctor evaluating
glaucoma will take a
medical history and do a
physical exam. If your doctor suspects glaucoma, he or she will refer you to an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
The eye specialist will check your eyes to help find out if you have the disease and how severe it is. He or she will look for certain signs of damage in the eye by checking things like:
- Eye structure. Ophthalmoscopy, gonioscopy, slit lamp exam, and optic coherence tomography all check the structures of the eye.
- Eye pressure. Tonometry measures the
pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP).
- Vision tests. These include tests to check for visual acuity and loss of side and central vision (perimetry testing).
- Cornea thickness. Tests such as ultrasound
pachymetry measure the thickness of the clear front surface of the eye (cornea). Cornea thickness, along with intraocular
pressure, helps determine your risk for glaucoma.
After glaucoma is diagnosed, eye exams are done on a regular basis to monitor the
Your doctor may also do a
low-vision evaluation to help find ways you can make
the most of your remaining vision and maintain your quality of life.
If you are younger than 40 and have no known risk factors for glaucoma, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that you have a complete eye exam every 5 to 10 years. This includes tests that check for
glaucoma.2 The AAO suggests more frequent routine eye exams as you age, even if you aren't at increased risk for glaucoma.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
October 22, 2012
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