glaucoma diagnosis

Diagnosis & Tests for Glaucoma

Diagnosis & Tests for Glaucoma at Center for Sight serving Fall River, Massachusetts and greater Providence, Rhode Island

The diagnosis of Glaucoma requires appropriate tests with the eye doctors at center for Sight in Fall River. The key to protecting your vision and eye health is to have regular and complete eye examinations with the necessary diagnostic testing for Glaucoma as recommended by your Center for Sight eye doctor. There is a battery of tests that your doctor may use individually or together in order to make the most precise diagnosis of Glaucoma. These include the following testing procedures:

  • Tonometry
    The Tonometry Test is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP). This test involves first placing some eye drops into your eyes to numb them and then lightly touching the surface of the Cornea with a specialized measuring instrument. There is no discomfort involved and the test is quick and gives your doctor the first piece of important information in determining whether you have Glaucoma.
  • Ophthalmoscopy
    Ophthalmoscopy is a method of carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect Glaucoma. Some eye drops will be placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that clear and direct observation of the optic nerve is possible. In a darkened room, your eye doctor may use several types of Ophthalmoscope in order to examine the shape and color of your optic nerve.

If either your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or your optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the Glaucoma examination.  As most types of glaucoma are slowly progressive, it may take years for sufficient evidence to be found, so many of these tests will need to be repeated periodically.  These may include the following test procedures:

  • Optic Nerve Stereo Photography: A special camera may be used to obtain stereoscopic (often called “3D vision”) photographs of your optic nerves.  These provide a useful objective record of your optic nerve appearance against which future comparisons may be made. 
  • Visual Field Perimetry: Perimetry of Visual Field testing is an important part of the Glaucoma examination. During this test you will be asked to sit in front of a large “bowl like” instrument and look directly straight ahead. A computer program will present a number of lights in different positions of your “side” or peripheral vision to see how far your side vision extends in various directions. The computer will then plot an actual map of your field of vision so that the Center for Sight eye doctors can interpret this map in conjunction with other examination tests in order to understand how well your optic nerve is functioning.
  • Gonioscopy: Gonioscopy is a quick and painless test that allows the eye doctor to directly observe the health and condition of the angle where the Iris meets the Cornea. By directly observing the angle and its status your doctor can understand more about whether you are at risk for the angle to become closed or whether the Trabecular Meshwork appears to have a normal anatomical structure.
  • Optic Nerve Computer Imaging: At Center for Sight our eye doctors use the most advanced computer imaging technology in order to make the earliest and most accurate diagnosis of Glaucoma. The computerized imaging system is located right in our office so that it is convenient for our patients. We utilize the OCT or Ocular Coherence Tomography for our Optic Nerve Imaging.  The OCT uses a method called “optical coherence tomography” that is capable of creating digital images through the use of special beams of light in order to create a contour map of the optic nerve and measure the retinal nerve fiber thickness.  Optic Nerve Computer Imaging

The goal of Optic Nerve Computer Imaging is to give the eye doctors at Center for Sight the ability to detect the slightest loss of optic nerve fibers, at the first possible moment, in order to diagnose Glaucoma at the earliest possible stage in order to stop the progression of the disease and preserve your vision.

  • Pachymetry Measurement of Corneal Thickness: The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health released an important study in 2002, called the Ocular Hypertension Study (OHTS). In this study an important finding occurred regarding corneal thickness and its role in Intraocular Pressure and the development of Glaucoma.

    The OHTS study found that corneal thickness is important because it can alter the accuracy of the measurement of Intraocular Pressure, potentially causing doctors to delay necessary treatment in some cases or causing doctors to treat normal people unnecessarily in other cases. Your actual Intraocular Pressure may be UNDERESTIMATED if you have thin corneas and it may be OVERESTIMATED if you have thicker corneas.

    During your Glaucoma examination, your Center for Sight eye doctor may perform a Pachymetry Test to measure your corneal thickness as part of your examination and consider this finding in conjunction with the other Glaucoma testing in order to make the accurate diagnosis.

    The Pachymetry Test is a simple, quick and painless way of accurately measuring your corneal thickness that our doctors do right in our office. The test is performed by first placing some drops in your eyes to make them numb and then lightly touching the cornea with a “pencil like” probe that uses sound waves to precisely measure your corneal thickness.

Glaucoma is a very complex eye disease, and not simply an elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP). Nonetheless, when detected early it can be successfully treated. Center for Sight and its staff provide the full scope of advanced technology diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as taking the time necessary to give each patient the personal education needed to fully understand their condition and get the best possible outcomes for their patients.

If you or a family member or friend have not had a recent Glaucoma screening or examination for Glaucoma and would like to have the  diagnosis of Glaucoma ruled out with the  appropriate Glaucoma tests, please take a moment to request an appointment by calling Center for Sight in Fall River, Massachusetts at 508-730-2020.

Center for Sight is conveniently located for patients in need of diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma with appropriate glaucoma tests in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and from Attleboro, Fairhaven, Fall River, Franklin, Mansfield, Marion, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Milford, New Bedford, North Attleboro, North Dartmouth, Norton, Oxford, Rehoboth, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Walpole, Whitinsville, Woonsocket, Providence, Smithfield, Westport, Lakeville, Dighton, Little Compton and Tiverton.