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5 Tests Your Doctor Will Use To Screen For Glaucoma

5 Tests Your Doctor Will Use To Screen For Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that is caused by high pressure levels in the eyes. It is most common in people over 60, although it can happen at any age. There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and acute angle-closure glaucoma. The signs of the first of these include patchy blind spots in the peripheral vision and tunnel vision. Signs of the latter include severe headaches, eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, and eye redness. If you are suffering any of these symptoms, go for a glaucoma screening at the optometrist. During a screening, your eye doctor will perform these 5 tests on your eyes.

5 Tests For Glaucoma

  1. Tonometry. This test measures the inner eye pressure with a device called a tonometer. The device delivers a small amount of pressure to the eye either with a small device or a puff of air. The average reading of eye pressure is 12-22mm Hg, but an eye with glaucoma will likely exceed 20mm. Eye pressure alone can’t determine if someone has glaucoma, as some people with it can have regular eye pressure readings, thus multiple different tests need to be performed.
  2. Ophthalmoscopy. This procedure checks for glaucoma damage by observing the optic nerve. The optometrist will dilate the pupil using eye drops and will then inspect the optic nerve. If the optic nerve looks abnormal or if the intraocular pressure is not what it should be, your optometrist will ask you to have a perimetry test and a gonioscopy test.
  3. Perimetry. The point of this test is to determine if your field of vision is being altered by glaucoma. So that the optometrist can determine exactly where your vision is being impared, you will be shown lights in all areas of your field of vision and you will be asked to identify where you see them. Remember that everyone has a blind spot, so don’t be concerned if there are areas where you can’t see the light. You may have to take the test more than once to confirm results. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, be prepared to repeat this test every year or two as a way to monitor your vision.
  4. Gonioscopy. During this exam, the eye doctor will place a mirrored contact lens into the eye so they can see if the angle between the iris and the cornea is wide and open, as it’s supposed to be, or if it’s closed and blocked, which is a potential indication of open-angle, chronic glaucoma.
  5. Pachymetry. This quick and painless test measures the thickness of the cornea, which is the clear outer layers of the eye that helps to focus light. The thickness of the cornea may alter eye pressure and therefore has to be taken into consideration when testing for glaucoma.

Get Glaucoma Screening at Market Mall Optometry In Calgary

Because the effects of glaucoma cannot be reversed, it is vital to detect it early through regular comprehensive eye exams with your optometrist, and through glaucoma screening if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above.  Tell your Calgary eye doctor if you have a family history of glaucoma and let the staff at Market Mall Optometry in Calgary deliver tailored treatment options to minimize the symptoms of the disease in the event of a confirmed diagnosis. To get a glaucoma screening from the expert team at Market Mall Optometry, call us at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the contact form.


Q: Will I go blind from glaucoma?

A: Although glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in Canada, complete loss of vision is uncommon with proper treatment. Sight impairment occurs in about 10% of patients, and only 5% experience blindness.

Q: What are the treatment options for glaucoma?
A: While there is no known cure for glaucoma, there are treatments that can manage it. Eye drops and oral medications can be used to decrease the amount of fluid your eyes produce which will decrease pressure. There are also surgeries available that can help reduce ocular pressure.

Q: What causes glaucoma?
A: Glaucoma is a genetic disease that optometrists and researchers believe is due to damage of the optic nerve. Glaucoma is generally associated with a buildup of fluid pressure in the eye.

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