Can a Routine Eye Exam Detect Glaucoma?

A complete eye exam is the best way to determine if you have glaucoma or another condition. After diagnosis, your optometrist can recommend a specialized treatment plan. Tonometry is a test used to measure the pressure inside the eye. During tonometry, eye drops are used to numb the eye and a device called a tonometer is used to measure the internal pressure of the eye.

A small amount of pressure is applied to the eye by a small device or a puff of warm air. Getting an accurate diagnosis of glaucoma is essential for protecting your eyes from vision loss. Optometrists are trained and qualified to diagnose many eye conditions or diseases, including glaucoma. They can also treat many of these same diseases, or refer their patients to other doctors with specific qualifications.

Pachymetry is a simple, painless test to measure the thickness of the cornea, which can influence eye pressure readings. Glaucoma symptoms rarely occur until vision loss occurs, so it's important to have regular eye exams as recommended by your optometrist. During the complete eye exam, the eye doctor will usually perform several tests to help diagnose glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma refers to any form of glaucoma in which there is an identifiable cause of increased eye pressure, such as eye injury, inflammation, certain prescriptions or medications (such as steroids), or advanced cataracts or diabetes.

Glaucoma is a generic term for several types of eye diseases that cause vision loss or even blindness. The symptoms of these diseases usually appear gradually and can only be detected through a professional eye exam. During this consultation, an eye doctor will examine the eye's internal pressure, the shape and color of the optic nerve, the full field of view, the angle at which the iris attaches to the cornea, and the thickness of the cornea. When fluid inside the eye can't drain, it builds up and causes damage to the optic nerve with its pressure.

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