Examination and Tests
The Process of Diagnosing Glaucoma
This depends on a thorough evaluation of the eye using many different techniques.
Complete Eye Exam
This exam is necessary as just checking the intraocular pressure is not good enough to diagnose glaucoma. The diagnosis of glaucoma in many cases can be difficult early in the development of the disease. Many factors such as certain risks, the level of the intraocular pressure, evaluation of any damage to the optic nerve need to be evaluated in order to make the diagnosis of glaucoma.
This should be done to exam the angle to see if it is open or closed. The trabecular meshwork should be examined as well to see the level of pigment accumulation, scarring, or trauma.
Dilated Fundus Exam
This is necessary to view the optic nerve in order to determine the amount of cupping, rim health, and color of the optic nerve.
Photographs of the Optic Nerve
Serial photographs of the optic nerve can help with managing glaucoma and is useful in comparing from visits in the past to the present.
Visual Field Test
The visual flied test needs to be performed to see if there is any loss of peripheral vision.
Special Testing of the Nerve Fiber Layer and Optic Nerve
The nerve fiber layer leading into the optic nerve can be measured with various imaging technologies. These are optical coherence tomography (OCT), scanning laser ophthalmology (Heidelberg Retinal Tomography) and scanning laser polarity (GDx). These tests may provide the earliest method of diagnosing glaucoma.
Ocular Blood Flow
This measurement helps to determine the blood flow through the eye.
The thickness of the cornea can effect the measurement of the IOP and needs to be measured. The thicker the cornea the higher the IOP than what is actually in the eye and the thinner the cornea the IOP will be measured lower than what it really is.