An Overview of Some Common Tests for Glaucoma

Doctor Looking Through Eye Exam Machine

Your ophthalmologist will look at several factors when it comes to diagnosing glaucoma. Two common tests, called tonometry and ophthalmoscopy, are performed routinely during glaucoma check-ups. Here is an overview of some common tests for glaucoma.


One component of a glaucoma diagnosis is an evaluation of the pressure within your eye ; the test that measures this is called tonometry. During this test, your eyes may be numbed with eye drops and a tonometer will be used to measure the inner pressure of your eye. This is done in one of two ways—your eye may receive a puff of air, or a small amount of pressure may be applied. Eye pressure varies between individuals, but a clear excess of pressure is a sign of glaucoma. The normal range is between 12 and 22 mm Hg.


Another common test for glaucoma analyzes your optic nerve. Glaucoma can affect both the shape and color of your optic nerve, and the ophthalmoscopy test allows eye doctors to see if this has occurred. Your pupils will be dilated with eye drops, and then your eye doctor will use magnification to get a closer look. If your optic nerve looks normal and your intraocular pressure is within a healthy range, you should be fine. If your optic nerve appears abnormal, however, your ophthalmologist will probably conduct additional tests.


If your eye doctor decides that you should undergo further glaucoma testing, he or she may move on to perimetry. During this test, your doctor will map out your vision using a moving light and your responses. This can help to determine whether glaucoma has damaged your visual field. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, you will probably repeat this test at least once a year to look for any changes in your vision over time.

If you would like to know more about the common tests for glaucoma, contact Dr. Mark Hornfeld . Dr. Hornfeld is an ophthalmologist who provides the New York City area with lens implants, LASIK surgery, glaucoma treatment, and other vision services. For more information, call our office at (646) 681-3100.

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