The only way for people to determine whether or not they have glaucoma is to be examined by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in eye care. The doctor will perform a number of tests. If there are indications that glaucoma is present, other tests can confirm it.
Checking For "Cupping"
Doctors use eye drops to dilate (enlarge) the
Visual Field Test
The doctor will also perform a visual field test to check your peripheral vision (what you can see on your sides while you are looking straight ahead), since that is the vision that glaucoma destroys first.
Measuring Eye Pressure
The doctor uses a simple and painless technique to measure the pressure within the eye. An anesthetic eye drop is given first, to ease any possible discomfort.
If the first three tests indicated that glaucoma might be developing, there are two more tests that can be performed.
Gonioscopy. In this test, doctors place a lens on the surface of the eye to study the drainage channels that should be taking aqueous humorout of the eye. This can help determine whether glaucoma exists and, if so, what type it is.
- Photographing the optic nerve. While the eyes are dilated, photographs are taken of the optic nerve. These are studied and kept so the doctor can determine if the condition is changing.