Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders characterized by damage to the optic nerve. It’s usually associated with increased intraocular pressure.
The best way to manage glaucoma is by having the eye condition diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Your eye doctor at Gadsden Eye Associates will have you undergo a series of tests and assessments.
These include determining how much damage to the optic nerve has occurred, measuring your intraocular pressure, and evaluating your visual field. You will undergo the following during your evaluation for glaucoma:
Comprehensive Eye Exam
You will have a comprehensive eye exam as the initial step in evaluating glaucoma. During your comprehensive eye exam, we will go over your medical history.
We will also run a series of tests to help get a better understanding of how healthy your eyes are. These tests may include measuring your visual acuity, looking at the front of your eye to evaluate your lens, cornea, and iris, and examining the drainage angle of your eye.
Measurement of Intraocular Pressure
If your intraocular pressure is elevated, this is one of the most significant risk factors for glaucoma. To measure your intraocular pressure, your Gadsden Eye Associates ophthalmologist may perform a test called tonometry.
Tonometry measures intraocular pressure to determine if yours is too high and needs to be managed.
Evaluation of the Optic Nerve
If glaucoma is suspected, your eye doctor may perform an ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy. These techniques examine the optic nerve for signs of damage or any abnormalities.
They may also use imaging technologies like optical coherence tomography (OCT) to assess the optic nerve’s structure and detect any changes or loss of nerve fibers.
To diagnose glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will need to use information from your comprehensive eye exam, intraocular pressure measurements, and optic nerve evaluation. Components for glaucoma diagnosis include:
Establishing Damage Due to Glaucoma
Diagnosing glaucoma is done by detecting optic nerve damage or signs of abnormalities. These include thinning of optic nerve fibers and loss of the visual field.
Determining Loss of Visual Field
One of the most common symptoms associated with glaucoma is loss of peripheral vision. You may have your visual field tested to determine how much has been lost and to what extent.
Assessment of Risk Factors
Many risk factors are associated with glaucoma, including your family history, age, medical conditions, and ethnicity. A member of our staff will go over a comprehensive evaluation that includes your medical history and family history to assess your risk profile for developing glaucoma or experiencing the progression of the eye condition.
Determining Which Kind of Glaucoma You Have
Although glaucoma is often called the silent thief of sight, several different kinds exist. The most common type is primary open-angle glaucoma, although there are other kinds.
Knowing which kind of glaucoma you have will make it easier to determine the best treatment options to lower your intraocular pressure and manage your glaucoma.
Learn more about glaucoma treatments.