Glaucoma testing is no longer simply relying on the eye pressure; instead, emphasis should give to test for optic nerve appearance (health).
A diagnosis of glaucoma no longer just based on the presence of pressure within the eye. Because normal tension glaucoma has no increased pressure, and thus it is impossible to diagnose based on eye pressure. Therefore, it is requiring assessing optic nerve appearance, which can clearly see during a dilated eye examination.
Glaucoma is a progressive (worsen over time) disease, with changes in the appearance of the optic nerve, a loss of nerve tissue, and a corresponding loss of vision confirms the diagnosis. Some optic nerves have a suspicious appearance, resembling nerves with glaucoma, but the patients may not have other risk factors or glaucoma symptoms. These patients should closely monitor with frequent comprehensive exams to assess for change.
- Patient history - is to determine the presence of any general health problems and family history that may be contributing to the problem.
- Visual acuity measurement is to determine the extent to which vision may be affected.
- Tonometry is to measure the eye pressure to detect increased risk for glaucoma.
- Pachymetry is to measure corneal thickness. People with thinner corneas are at an increased risk for glaucoma.
- Visual field testing or perimetry - is to assess the field of vision affecting by glaucoma. This test measures side (peripheral) vision and central vision by determining the dimmest amount of light that can detect in various vision locations or by determining sensitivity to targets other than light.
- Retina evaluation - may include photographs of the optic nerve, in order to monitor any changes that might occur over time.
- Gonioscopy - view the angle anatomy, the area in the eye where fluid drainage occurs.
- Other tests include using devices to measure nerve fiber thickness, and look for specific areas of the nerve fiber layer for loss of tissue.