Chatter: Introduction to the Routine Glaucoma Exams
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4 months ago
david 4.2k

The most common glaucoma exams include:

  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): OCT has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology by providing high-resolution, cross-sectional images of ocular structures. It has become an invaluable tool for glaucoma diagnosis and monitoring. OCT utilizes near-infrared light to capture detailed images of the optic nerve head, retinal nerve fiber layer, and macula. These images allow ophthalmologists to assess the thickness and integrity of the nerve fibers, detect early signs of damage, and monitor disease progression over time. Additionally, OCT can aid in differentiating between various types of glaucoma, such as open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma, although other tests are also used to assess angle status (such as ultrasound biomicroscopy).

  • Visual Field Testing: Visual field testing, also known as perimetry, evaluates the full extent of a patient's peripheral vision. Glaucoma often leads to peripheral visual field loss, and assessing these changes is crucial for diagnosis and monitoring. The test involves presenting a series of stimuli at various locations within the visual field while the patient focuses on a central target. This comprehensive assessment helps detect glaucomatous damage, evaluate progression, and guide treatment decisions. It's possible to do this test at home now, and you can even rent the test device for a few weeks if you wish. Contact for information.

  • Slit Lamp Examination: A cornerstone of ophthalmic examination, the slit lamp is an instrument that enables detailed evaluation of the anterior segment of the eye. During a slit lamp exam, an ophthalmologist uses a high-intensity light beam and a binocular microscope to examine structures such as the cornea, iris, lens, and anterior chamber. In the context of glaucoma, the slit lamp examination is vital for assessing the drainage angle, evaluating the health of the trabecular meshwork, and detecting any signs of secondary glaucoma due to other ocular conditions or trauma. Additionally, the slit lamp allows ophthalmologists to identify characteristic findings associated with angle-closure glaucoma, such as narrow angles or peripheral anterior synechiae.

  • Intraocular Pressure Measurement: Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the only medically / surgically treatable risk factor for glaucoma at this time. Elevated IOP can cause damage to the optic nerve over time. While you may hear that the "Gold Standard" for IOP measurement is Goldmann applanation tonometry, that's an outdated notion. See Is Goldmann Applanation Tonometer (GAT) the Gold Standard? | Ask FitEyes. Regular monitoring of IOP aids in determining the effectiveness of treatment and guiding therapeutic interventions. You can also monitor your IOP at home now, and again, device rental options are available at .

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