Arranging a test for glaucoma
There are three main tests for glaucoma which are rapid and painless:
1.Ophthalmoscopy: Viewing the appearance of the main nerve in the eye, called the optic nerve which is done with a slit lamp biomiocroscopy.
2. Tonometry: A test to measure the pressure within the eye. Most commonly known as the air puff test, non-contact tonometry is used as a screening test in many optometric practices. Alternatively contact tonometry may also be used because it is more accurate and is recognised because a drop of anaesthetic will be put into the eye before the test. Both systems are of value in the initial detection of glaucoma.
3. Perimetry: A test to map any areas of reduced or defective vision in the periphery of the visual field. There are many different instruments that may be used to check the field of vision, but in most cases the patient will be asked to fix their eye on a central dot of light and press a button when they see flashes of light or wavy lines in any direction.
Individually the results of these tests can be inadequate, but together they give a good indication of whether or not you might have glaucoma and should therefore be examined further.
Even if the tests prove to be negative, glaucoma may still develop at a later age so these three tests should be repeated at your next routine eye examination.
As people get older they are increasingly likely to develop glaucoma.