How Do I Know if I have Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Testing

In order to determine if you have glaucoma or if you are at high risk for developing glaucoma, your doctor will perform a series of tests. These tests will need to be repeated at regular intervals to determine if glaucoma is developing or progressing


Intraocular Pressure Measurement

Your doctor will measure the pressure in your eyes. This is a quick painless measurement that involves instilling numbing eye drops in your eyes and measuring your eye pressure using an instrument called a tonometer. Normal eye pressure readings are typically between 10 and 21, but glaucoma damage can occur at pressures in the normal range.

Viewing of the Drainage Angle (Gonioscopy)

Since the drainage angle of the eye cannot be viewed directly, your doctor will use a mirrored lens to inspect the drainage angle of your eye. This will allow your doctor to determine the type of glaucoma you may have and suggest the best treatment options for you.

Viewing of the Optic Nerve (Ophthalmoscopy)

Inspection of your optic nerve is critical in diagnosing glaucoma because this is where glaucoma damage occurs. This is usually performed with a magnifying lens after dilating drops are placed in your eyes. Sometimes, your doctor may photograph your optic nerves for monitoring.

Measurement of Corneal Thickness (Pachymetry)

This measurement is important to determine the accuracy of your eye pressure measurements. This test is performed after numbing drops are placed in your eyes with a small probe called a pachymeter.

Visual Field Test

This test helps your doctor find areas of your vision that may be less sensitive due to glaucoma. The test measures your central and side vision. To perform the test, you will be seated with your head positioned in a bowl-shaped device and asked to focus straight ahead. One eye is tested at a time so an eye patch will be worn on the eye not being tested. You will be asked to press a button when you see flashing lights in your vision while focusing on a target.