Over 2.2 million Americans currently have glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness. In fact, the eye disease accounts for 9-12% of all cases of blindness in the U.S., more than 120,000 people. Scary, right? Scarier is the fact that only half of those with glaucoma know they have the eye disease, because it presents no symptoms. This is why regular eye exams are so important.
Early glaucoma diagnosis and treatment are the keys to protecting your vision from glaucoma damage. A comprehensive eye exam includes five common glaucoma tests:
- Tonometry: This test measures intraocular pressure (IOP), also known as eye pressure. A small amount of pressure is applied to the eye (typically a puff of air) while your eye doctor uses a tonometer to measure the inner pressure of the eye. Normal eye pressure is 12-21 mm Hg.
- Ophthalmoscopy: This measurement helps your eye doctor examine the optic nerve to look for glaucoma damage. First, eye drops are used to dilate the pupils. Then the doctor uses a small device to illuminate and magnify the optic nerve for careful observation.
- Perimetry: This measurement maps your complete field of vision, also known as the visual field test, to help your eye doctor determine whether or not you have suffered any vision loss as a result of glaucoma. You will be asked to look straight ahead and indicate when a moving light passes your peripheral vision.
- Gonioscopy: This test helps determine whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open and wide or narrow and closed. Eye drops are used to numb the eye before a hand-held contact lens is placed on the eye. This lens allows the eye doctor to see if the angle is closed and blocked, which is a sign of angle-closure or acute glaucoma, or wide and open, a sign of open-angle, chronic glaucoma.
- Pachymetry: This measures the thickness of your cornea. A special device called a pachymeter is placed on the front of the eye to measure corneal thickness, which has the potential to influence eye pressure readings.
Anne Arundel Eye Center, Specializing in Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment
Specializing in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, the Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC) offers complete ophthalmic exams. Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles and his staff have helped preserve thousands of patients’ vision. Let AAEC help you too!
If you have any questions about Common Glaucoma Tests or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Boles, consultative optometrists Dr. Nathan Frank and Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists at the Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or visiting AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube as well!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
5 Common Glaucoma Tests Glaucoma Research Foundation