As part of a comprehensive eye examination, your ophthalmologist will perform tests to measure your intraocular pressure and to make sure that you do not have glaucoma.
Among the tests your Eye M.D. may perform are:
- Tonometry exam. This procedure measures the pressure in your eye. During this test, your eye is numbed with eyedrops. Your doctor uses an instrument called a tonometer (see photo above) to measure eye pressure. The instrument measures how your cornea resists pressure.
- Gonioscopy exam. Gonioscopy allows your ophthalmologist to get a clear look at the drainage angle of your eye. Your ophthalmologist is not able to see your eye’s drainage angle by looking at the front of your eye. However, by using a mirrored lens, your ophthalmologist can examine the drainage angle, which is important in determining whether or not you have glaucoma, as well as what type of glaucoma you may have.
- Ophthalmoscopy exam. Your ophthalmologist inspects your optic nerve for signs of damage using an ophthalmoscope, an instrument that magnifies the interior of the eye. Your pupils will be dilated (widened) with eye drops to allow your doctor a better view of your optic nerve to see if it has been damaged.
- Visual field test. The visual field test will check for blank spots in your vision, another sign of glaucoma. The test is performed using a bowl-shaped instrument called a perimeter. When taking the test, a patch is temporarily placed on one of your eyes so that only one eye is tested at a time. You will be seated and asked to look straight ahead at a target. The computer makes a noise and random points of light will flash around the bowl-shaped perimeter, and you will be asked to press a button whenever you see a light. Not every noise is followed by a flash of light.
- Pachymetry. Because the thickness of the cornea can affect eye pressure readings, pachymetry is used to measure corneal thickness. A probe called a pachymeter is gently placed on the cornea to measure its thickness.
Next Page: Ocular Hypertension Treatment