In order to preserve your eye health, we recommend you have eye exams with appropriate levels of testing for Glaucoma. During your examination, the doctors will perform a number of tests in order to make the most accurate diagnosis of Glaucoma. These may include the following testing procedures:
The Tonometry Test is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP). First the doctors place numbing eye drops into your eyes. They then lightly touch the surface of the cornea with a specialized measuring instrument. There is no discomfort involved. The test is quick and gives the doctors the first piece of important information in determining whether you have Glaucoma.
Ophthalmoscopy is a method of carefully examining the inside of the eye in order to detect Glaucoma. First, the doctor administers eye drops in order to dilate your pupil. The doctors can then make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve. The examination will take place in a darkened room using different types of Ophthalmoscopes in order to examine your optic nerve.
If your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or your optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary. These may include the following test procedures:
Visual Field Perimetry
Perimetry or Visual Field testing is an important part of the Glaucoma examination. During this test you will sit in front of a large bowl-like instrument and look straight ahead. A computer program will present a number of lights in different positions of your peripheral vision. This will test how far your side vision extends in various directions. The computer will then plot an actual map of your field of vision. The doctors can then interpret this map in conjunction with other tests to understand how well your optic nerve is functioning.
This test allows doctors to observe the health and condition of the angle where the iris meets the cornea. By directly observing the angle and its status, the doctors will determine whether you are at risk for angle closure.
Optic Nerve Computer Imaging
At The Eye Center, we use advanced computer imaging technology in order to make the earliest and most accurate diagnosis of Glaucoma. Our Optic Nerve Computer Imaging system is called the Zeiss Cirrus Optic Nerve Head Analysis.
The Zeiss Analysis uses an imaging method called “confocal laser ophthalmoscopy”. This method scans the retinal surface and optic nerve with a laser. It then constructs a topographic three dimensional image of the optic nerve and measures the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer. These are very precise measurements that your eye doctor will interpret in conjunction with the other Glaucoma tests.
The goal of Zeiss Imaging is to detect the slightest loss of optic nerve fibers, at the first possible moment. This helps diagnose Glaucoma at the earliest possible stage, in order to stop the progression of the disease and preserve your vision.
Pachymetry Measurement of Corneal Thickness
The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health released a study in 2002 called the Ocular Hypertension Study. The study found that corneal thickness is important because it can alter the accuracy of the measurement of Intraocular Pressure. Your Intraocular Pressure may be underestimated if you have thin corneas, and overestimated if you have thicker corneas.
During your Glaucoma examination, your doctor may perform a Pachymetry Test to measure your corneal thickness. They will also consider this finding in conjunction with the other Glaucoma tests in order to make the most accurate diagnosis.
The Pachymetry Test is a simple, quick, and painless way of accurately measuring your corneal thickness. The test begins with the doctor placing drops in your eyes, numbing them. Then, the doctor lightly touches the cornea with a “pencil like” probe that uses sound waves to precisely measure your corneal thickness.
To learn more about Glaucoma at The Eye Center, click the links below:
If you, a family member or friend, would like to schedule an eye examination for Glaucoma, please call The Eye Center at 303-777-5455.