The excellent advances in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment still require patients to play an active role in their care by scheduling regular eye exams with the appropriate level of glaucoma testing based on their examination, risk factors and doctor’s recommendations. Glaucoma risk factors that may make additional testing or more frequent exams necessary include diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease, an early onset of menopause, sleep apnea, any family history of glaucoma-especially among siblings, excessive alcohol use and smoking, as well as race since if you are of African-American or Hispanic descent, you have greater risk of glaucoma.

Glaucoma Eye Exams–Eye exams for glaucoma should begin by checking your visual acuity with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then, the tonometry test should be performed. This is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and gives us the first piece of important information in determining whether you might have glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy and high magnification contact lens exams are examination procedures used to detect and diagnose glaucoma by carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect glaucoma.  It is necessary to have some eye drops placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that the doctors can make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma Testing–If either the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or the optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the glaucoma examination. These may include Visual Field Perimetry, Gonioscopy, Optic Nerve Computer Imaging and Pachymetry. Should you need any of these tests we explain them fully to you and answer your questions so that you understand how they allow us to diagnose glaucoma.

If you are under 40 years of age and do not have any meaningful risk factors, then having a glaucoma eye examination every two years should be sufficient. If you have any glaucoma risk factors, then an annual exam or as frequently as directed by your eye doctor is necessary to maintain eye health and vision. If you or someone you know has questions about glaucoma, glaucoma eye exams or testing, or needs to schedule an appointment, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.