What sort of tests are involved in diagnosing glaucoma?
We measure eye pressure but more importantly, we take detailed scans of the optic nerve as some people will develop glaucoma nerve damage even when pressures are not above average. This helps us help detect and diagnose glaucoma as early as possible.
My vision is always the same and my glasses script has not changed – does that mean my glaucoma is stable?
Not necessarily. Glaucoma tends to affect your side vision first. The part of your vision that glasses correct is generally your central vision, which involves the macula rather than the optic nerve.
Your glasses could still be working great and that might not prompt you to go back to your optometrist. However, that doesn’t mean the glaucoma is stable.
We still need to do extra tests every time just to make sure it’s not getting worse
How do the different methods of eye pressure tests differ? Which is the best one for glaucoma?
We start with the non-contact version, where you feel an air puff go into your eye. If we suspect things like abnormally higher eye pressures, we measure the corneal thickness.
Do optometrists routinely check the angles of the eyes?
Yes, the most common method is using the microscope with the light on it called the slit lamp.
Can glaucoma tests detect macular degeneration?
The OCT machine, which scans through the optic nerve to check for glaucoma, can also detect macular degeneration because when we take the detailed scan, it looks at the middle part of the eye (macula) as well.