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The best way to protect yourself from glaucoma and vision loss is yearly eye examinations, especially if you are age 50 and older. During your exam, glaucoma screening can be done in your eye doctor’s office.

Your eye doctor will look for signs of glaucoma by examining your eyes and optic nerves, measuring your inner eye pressure, and giving you a basic field of vision test. Depending on the results, your eye doctor may refer you to a glaucoma specialist.

Glaucoma specialists use advanced procedures and equipment to further understand your glaucoma symptoms, make a diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan.

You will have additional visual field testing because loss of peripheral vision is a common sign of glaucoma. It will be repeated at most visits to track how glaucoma is affecting your eyes.

Knowing the health of the optic nerves is essential to understanding the damage done by glaucoma, how it may be progressing, and how to treat it. State-of-the-art glaucoma clinics have many types of advanced diagnostic equipment that enables them to precisely measure the structure and function of the optic nerves.

Below is a list of the diagnostic procedures that you may receive from glaucoma experts to help them fully understand and treat your condition.

Glaucoma at a Glance: Diagnostic Procedures

These procedures enable glaucoma specialists to study in very precise detail all the parts of the eye that may be affected by glaucoma.

Glaucoma at a Glance: Types and Causes

Procedure Purpose
Standard Automated Perimetry (SAP) Short-Wavelength Automated Perimetry (SWAP) To see how glaucoma is affecting vision over time to track how well treatment is working. (A form of visual field testing)
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) To study the retina and its layers
Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography (AS-OCT) To study the front-most section of the eye that includes the cornea, iris, and lens
Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-AS) To study the tiny blood vessels (microvasculature) of the retina
Fluorescein Angiography To study and record blow flow in the retina
Ultrasound Biomicroscopy To study the front-most section of the eye that is difficult or impossible to see with OCT
Sterotactic Optic Disc Photography To study and record the condition of the optic nerve head
Corneal Pachymetry To measure the thickness of the cornea to understand the risk of glaucoma

Expert glaucoma screening and diagnosis are very important to make sure you receive the best glaucoma treatment that is specially designed for you and your eyes.

In next week’s blog, we cover the types of glaucoma treatments.

The goal of this series of weekly blogs is to help you feel informed and confident, wherever you are in learning about glaucoma.

Visit weekly to learn more.

Please provide feedback, suggested topics, or questions about glaucoma in the Contact Us section below. Thank you.