Early detection is the key to treat glaucoma. When glaucoma sets in, many patients often don’t feel any symptoms. This is why this eye disease is called a silent enemy. Glaucoma then progresses rapidly leaving no time for the patient to get preventive or reversibly treatment.
At what age should one start taking eye tests for glaucoma?
Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age. However, incidences of this eye disease are less common for children and people in their early thirties. A medical eye examination is recommended every two to five years for people below 40 years of age and one to three years for people after 40 and before 60 years of age. After 65 years of age, it is advisable to seek a doctor’s consultation at least twice a year.
What are the different glaucoma tests?
A comprehensive glaucoma test checks for the following health indicators of the eye:
- Eye pressure in the inside sections of the eye.
- The orientation, color, and form of the optic nerve. Any unusual appearance could be an indication of high optic nerve pressure.
- Field of vision tests to check the range of peripheral vision the patient has. When glaucoma sets in, vision loss starts with loss of peripheral vision.
- Corneal thickness
The following are the names and descriptions of tests conducted to examine the eyes for potential incidence of glaucoma.
A tonometer is used to measure the pressure build-up in the insides of the eyes. To get accurate readings, a miniscule amount of exertion is applied to the eye by the device. The metric for measuring inside eye pressure is millimeters of mercury. The ideal range is from 12 to 22 mm Hg. Any reading in excess of 20 mm Hg is due to an underlying glaucoma condition. But there are causes where patients have glaucoma even when their eye pressure is within the normal range.
The eye doctor dilates the eye to enlarge the eye and view the optic nerve in greater detail. This examination is intended to reveal possible malformations of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is magnified with a magnifying instrument for this purpose. If the optic nerve looks unusual or has a shape or color that is abnormal, the following tests are conducted.
This is an important test considering that it checks the peripheral vision of a patient in great detail. Also called the field of vision test, the patient is required to spot light particles that appear at random. This test last for about 30 minutes and enables the optometrist to draw a map of the field of vision.
This is one of the important final tests of the several patient specific tests where the corneal thickness is gauged. Corneal thickness has a potential impact on eye pressure measurements.
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About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Houston LASIK & Eye. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.