There is no simple screening test for glaucoma.
The emphasis is on detecting the risk factors for glaucoma and assessing the optic disc to decide the possibility of early glaucoma being present. If the optic disc is very healthy and there are no risk factors present, then a routine examination is appropriate.
When risk factors are identified, for example a family history, a borderline eye pressure or a suspicious optic disc anatomy, routine examinations should be more frequent and planned according to your risk of developing glaucoma.
Our understanding has come a long way from when measuring the eye pressure was considered an adequate glaucoma test. Eye pressure is an important risk factor but it is useless as a screening tool. A visual field test is very also important but used indiscriminately or alone it is not best eye care. Accurate assessment of the risk factors that lead to glaucoma and careful assessment of the optic nerve which is where glaucoma does its damage to your eyesight.
Factors you may know about:
- Family History
- Intra Ocular Pressure
- Steroid Use (even inhalers)
- Previous Eye Injuries including a black eye
- Significant Long-Sightedness
Factors you may not know about:
- Motion Sickness
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon (numb fingers and toes when they get cold)
- Sleep Apnoea
- Low Blood Pressure
Factors you need an examination to know about:
- Raised eye pressure
- Suspicious optic nerve signs
- A thinner than normal cornea
- Other eye disease and structural abnormalities
- Early peripheral visual field loss