What Is a Glaucoma Test?
Glaucoma is the generalized name for a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve of the eye, preventing the eye from sending accurate visual information to the brain. Glaucoma tests are designed to test your eyes for one of the key symptoms of the disease—increased eye pressure—however only a comprehensive eye exam at our office in Mobile, AL can reveal whether or not you have glaucoma. Increased pressure inside the eye is often a key indicator of glaucoma, though not exclusively so. Eye doctors can use a number of tests for eye pressure, but will, by default, check for signs of glaucoma as part of a detailed examination of the retina—the light sensitive area at the back of the eye responsible for processing images.
How Does Glaucoma Testing Work?
One type of glaucoma test measures internal pressure of the eye. This test uses a special device (in conjunction with eye-numbing drops) to gently “touch” the surface of the eye to measure eye pressure. It is painless.
While increased eye pressure is a key indicator of the disease, it does not necessarily mean you have a glaucoma diagnosis. In fact, the only way to detect glaucoma is to have a detailed, comprehensive eye exam that often includes dilation of the pupils.
So “true” glaucoma testing actually involves examining the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye for signs of the disease. A Humphrey visual field measures function of the nerve. OCT of the optic nerve measures nerve density. Pachymetry measures corneal thickness. Stereoscopic fundus photos make viewing the depth of the optic nerve possible, making long-term monitoring more effective. Dr. Jackson uses all of these diagnostic tests to manage glaucoma effectively.
Glaucoma can cause slight to severe vision loss, and is often discovered only after the disease is present—that’s why glaucoma testing is so important.
- Read more about the causes, symptoms and treatment options for glaucoma or visit our office in Mobile, AL.
- Read more about Macular Degeneration Treatment.
Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!