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Glaucoma Eye Exams

This short video reviews a variety of glaucoma tests, including ophthalmoscopy, tonometry, pachymetry, gonioscopy, a Visual Fields test, and optic nerve imaging.

Individuals who are at risk of developing glaucoma should be tested regularly to maintain the quality of their vision. There are many different tests that eye doctors may perform to monitor for glaucoma: One test a doctor may perform is called Ophthalmoscopy. During this test, the doctor observes the condition of the optic nerve through a special microscope. If necessary, your doctor may also use a special camera to take photographs of your eye for future comparison. Another test that may be performed is called Tonometry. This test measures for the presence of elevated pressure inside of the eye, a key risk factor for glaucoma. The thickness of the cornea can influence the results of a Tonometry test, so a doctor may measure the cornea by performing a test called Pachymetry. Knowing the thickness of the cornea can help the doctor more accurately interpret pressure within the eye. A doctor may perform a Gonioscopy test. During this test, the doctor observes the angle of the eye where fluid is supposed to drain to see if there is any blockage or closure that may elevate pressure within the eye. Patients may also be given an interactive test, called a Visual Fields test to detect vision loss due to glaucoma. During this test, patients look straight ahead, and indicate when they see a spot of light appear in their visual field. Spots that go unnoticed during this test may indicate areas of vision loss. Another test that may be performed, measures your optic nerve using computerized imaging devices. These devices scan the area of the optic nerve, providing highly detailed images of the optic nerve and surrounding tissue. This test can help doctors identify and treat glaucoma far in advance of previous technologies. Doctors may perform one, or all of these tests on a patient, depending on their risks of developing glaucoma, and the condition of their eyes. Performed regularly, these tests provide an eye doctor with the information needed to effectively treat glaucoma and prevent vision loss.

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