A glaucoma eye test can help prevent blindness. In fact, picking it up early and treating it with prescription eye drops or surgery can dramatically reduce the risk of losing vision.

Glaucoma can only be diagnosed with specialised tests. In fact, a glaucoma test collects information about the optic nerve and peripheral vision, as well as corneal thickness and intraocular pressure.

The results of a glaucoma test are assessed alongside family history, as well as other general health risk factors. Only then can the practitioner diagnose the disease.

About a glaucoma eye test

Glaucoma eye tests require information and measurements taken from five different eye examinations.

Retinal imaging uses a highly magnified device to photograph the back of the eye, the retina. An expert optometrist can then assess these images for signs of glaucoma.

OCT utilises a special instrument to photograph the layers behind the retina. It enables optometrists to see the early signs of glaucoma, before they become visible to retinal imaging. See our OCT page for more information.

Optometrists measure the cornea thikness beacuse thinner than average corneas have a link with higher risk of developing glaucoma.

The visual field screening test, or frequency doubling threshold (FDT), is a glaucoma eye test that looks for early signs of the disease. If the results give reason to suspect glaucoma, a more detailed Humphrey Visual Field test will also be done.

Optometrists measure intra-ocular pressure using a non-contact method. Initially this involves a puff of air on the eye. If an optometrist suspects glaucoma they will use an alternative method known as Goldmann Applanation Tonometer to measure intra-ocular pressure more accurately.

What is the treatment for glaucoma?

Glaucoma treatment typically uses special eye drops. Patients use these once a day for the rest of their life.

Surgery may also be appropriate – sometimes instead of or as well as the eye drops. An ophthalmologist performs this procedure.

Glaucoma check-ups

It is important to monitor the progression of glaucoma. So sufferes need a glaucoma eye test check-ups every 6 months. These check-ups will usually involve a visual field test, an OCT and a photograph of your optic nerve.

If check-ups show a continued loss of peripheral vision the treatment will need to change. For instance, a patient may need extra treatments to adequately control the disease and prevent blindness.