Diagnosing and Caring for Glaucoma

The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines glaucoma as an eye disease that damages your optic nerve. This condition develops when fluid collects in the front section of your eye. The excess amount of fluid presses on your eye and damages your optic nerve. Glaucoma can result in vision loss. If you want to know more about glaucoma diagnosis and care, here’s what you should know.

 

Diagnosis

Your ophthalmologist will conduct any of these tests to confirm you have glaucoma:

  • Ophthalmoscopy: This exam needs dilating eye drops to make it easier for your eye specialist to examine your optic nerve’s color and shape. Your ophthalmologist will then use a small magnifying tool that has a light at its end. This test will see whether your IOP (intraocular pressure) is normal or not.

  • Tonometry: This diagnostic test examines your IOP. Your eye doctor will administer eye numbing eye drops and use a tonometer to measure your eye pressure.

  • Perimetry: This is a visual field test that creates a map of your visual field. Your eye doctor will ask you to look forward as a spot of light shines toward various sections of your side or peripheral vision. You should have this performed once or twice a year.

  • Pachymetry: This test measures your corneal thickness. Your ophthalmologist uses a pachymeter to support your glaucoma diagnosis. Corneal thickness may influence your IOP readings.

  • Gonioscopy: This diagnostic exam assesses whether the angle between your cornea and iris is either closed or open. Your eye specialist administers numbing eye drops and then places a hand-held contact lens. You may receive a referral to see a glaucoma specialist.


 

Conducting Care

Glaucoma can cause irreversible damage that can lead to blindness. Symptoms do not usually present themselves. When your eye specialist confirms that you have glaucoma, you may receive any of the following treatments:

  • Oral medications: This form of glaucoma treatment involves taking a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Patients take this medication to reduce the production of aqueous humor by decreasing the rate of fluid flow and the number of bicarbonate ions. Potential side effects are kidney stones and frequent urination.

  • Eye drops: Medications may cause side effects that are not related to your eye condition. Reducing absorption is possible by closing your eyes after administering the eye drops. You can also do this by pressing the inner corner of your eyes for about one to two minutes. Be sure to space out an eye drop application if your eye doctor prescribed more than one.

  • Other treatment options: If medications do not work, you can have other treatments that can lower your IOP. You can discuss laser therapy, drainage tubes, filtering surgery, or MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) with your eye specialist.




Your eye specialist can only detect and treat glaucoma with regular eye checks. At Professional Eye Care at Westar, we encourage patients to always keep their routine eye exam appointments. That way, we can detect and treat early signs of any eye condition. For an in-person consultation, you can visit our clinic in Westerville, Ohio, during our hours of operation. Please call us at (614) 686-2300 if you want to set an appointment or ask questions about our diagnostic exams and treatments for glaucoma.


References:

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/glaucoma-diagnosis

https://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/

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