What tests are needed to diagnose glaucoma?

Take Home Points

If persons with glaucoma rarely find it themselves by noticing something wrong with their eyes, how does an eye doctor find it? The answer is through careful examining and good detective work. First, we look for those contributing risk factors that make it more likely that you might have either open angle or angle closure glaucoma. If you have two or three of these risk factors (such as having a blood relative with it, or being an older African-American who is near-sighted), it’s mandatory to do the detailed exams for glaucoma that we’ll discuss here. Why not just do all the tests on everyone? In every eye exam, the doctor asks questions about risk factors (called taking a history). The doctor also measures your eye pressure and looks into the eye at the optic nerve. But, it is a waste of time and money to perform all the other tests on everyone, because many people are at very low risk of glaucoma.

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