- have someone else in your family with glaucoma
- already have high pressure in your eye
- have experienced injury to your eye
- have or have had certain other eye problems
- have migraine or circulation problems.
- Tonometry – measures eye pressure. It is often the first screening test for glaucoma. The eyes are numbed with eye drops and then examined.
- Dilated eye exam - this is done with an ophthalmoscope (a medical instrument that allows the doctor to look through the pupil to the back of the eye). The retina and optic nerve are then examined for any sign of damage.
- Visual acuity test – test to check distance vision using an auto refractor.
- Visual field test – test to measure side (peripheral) vision.
- OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) - measures the thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layer. OCT can aid in diagnosing and monitoring glaucoma.
- Digital photos - used to obtain a baseline reading of the optic nerve and monitor any possible glaucoma changes over time.
When you attend for your initial assessment, please bring your glasses with you and any medication you take on a regular basis. It is advisable to bring a driver to your appointment as you may have dilating drops put in your eyes and this can make driving home difficult. You will have some of the tests listed above at your initial appointment and may then require repeat testing on a regular basis if glaucoma is suspected or diagnosed.
Eye drops to decrease eye pressure are the most common early treatment. Surgery may be required, especially if medications are not taking adequate effect.
Laser trabeculoplasty, in which a surgeon uses a laser to help the fluid drain from the eye, may be considered in some cases, but has limited effectiveness.
More commonly, a trabeculectomy may be performed when other methods have failed to adequately control pressure. This is a medium length operation that makes a new opening for fluid to drain from the eye.