Understanding How Glaucoma is Diagnosed: A Detailed Overview
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve. The symptoms can start so slowly that you may not notice them. The only surefire way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get tested. Understanding how Glaucoma is diagnosed can help demystify this process.
II. What Happens During a Glaucoma Check?
While a general eye examination is extensive, a specific Glaucoma check involves a few additional procedures. These tests are designed to assess the health of your eyes and determine any potential issues that could lead to or indicate Glaucoma.
III. Detailed Description of Glaucoma Tests
Several tests are part of diagnosing Glaucoma; these target specific areas of your eye to better understand its overall health:
1. Dilated Eye Exam
In this test, drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, your pupils. This allows the eye care professional to see more of the inside of your eye to check for signs of the disease.
In a tonometry test, an instrument measures the inner pressure of the eye. A high pressure reading is an important signal that you may have glaucoma.
This examination helps determine whether the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open and wide or narrow and closed. This can estimate the risk of either open-angle or angle-closure glaucoma.
4. Visual Field testing
The Peripheral Vision Test or Confrontation Visual Field Testing examines your full range of vision to detect irregularities that could indicate Glaucoma.
A pachymetry test measures the thickness of your cornea. Having a thin cornea can increase the likelihood of developing glaucoma.
IV. How Glaucoma is Diagnosed
With the results of these tests, a healthcare professional can conclude whether glaucoma is the cause of your vision issues. It involves comparing your test results with normal ranges for each test and cross-checking them. Combining these results gives a comprehensive image of your eye health.
V. Understanding Your Glaucoma Diagnosis
There are several types of Glaucoma, including Open-Angle Glaucoma, Angle-Closure Glaucoma, Normal-Tension Glaucoma, amongst others. Each requires different treatments and affects your vision uniquely. A diagnosis, while sounding scary, is the first step towards protecting your eyesight and managing the disease.
VI. Preparing for Your Glaucoma Test
If you’re scheduled for a Glaucoma test, it’s important to come prepared. This includes bringing your eye glasses or contact lenses along, and also a list of medications you’re taking.
VII. Monitoring Your Glaucoma: Follow-Up and Treatment
Once diagnosed, follow-up tests are necessary to monitor the progression of disease. This includes reassessing the interior pressure of your eye and also looking into any changes in your vision. Treatment can range from prescription eye drops to surgical options.
Glaucoma is a serious disease, but its progression can be slowed down with early detection and timely treatment. With regular eye exams and the right care, you can protect your eyesight and live a healthy life.
Got more questions? We cover some frequently asked questions on Glaucoma and its diagnosis in this dedicated section. Do get in touch if you need to know anything more.