Once you have been diagnosed with either risk factors for glaucoma or with glaucoma, our doctors will follow you on a regular basis to monitor your eye pressures to ensure that they are in a safe range for you. Periodically, the doctors may also order special tests that aim at checking your optic nerves for damages and for progression of the disease.
What Is a Specialized Glaucoma Test?
Beyond the glaucoma screening that is part of the comprehensive examination, there are three special tests that are used periodically to monitor the health of your optic nerves. They are 1) optic nerve photographs, 2) computerized visual fields, and 3) optic nerve analyzer.
The fundus photograph is to document the appearance of the optic nerves from time to time. Our eye doctors then can compare to see if there had been any significant changes in the nerves from glaucoma.
The computerized visual field is a formal method used to document changes in your peripheral vision due to damage from glaucoma. You are asked to sit at a machine that will generate points of light in your peripheral vision. While focusing straight ahead, you will then push a button on a joystick whenever you see a light. The test is done on each eye at a time and will take about 20 minutes to complete. Our eye doctors will then be able to watch for damage to your peripheral vision.
The optic nerve analyzer is a machine that takes a picture of your optic nerve and measures the actual thickness of the nerve. The test is quick, just like taking a picture. In early stages of glaucoma, the nerve fiber will thin out as the cells die. A person with glaucoma could have one-half of their optic nerve die off before any changes can be detected on visual field testing. Therefore, this test is extremely important in allowing our doctors to detect early glaucoma changes before it affects your vision.
Your comprehensive eye exam at Regional Eye Center will include testing for signs of Cataracts!