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Glaucoma Testing at Total Family Eyecare’s Boca Raton Clinic

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What is Glaucoma?

Per http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/, glaucoma is an eye disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness.

A glaucoma test is part of a comprehensive eye examination process and is used to measure the pressure of the fluid inside your eyes.

Memphis glaucoma eye exam

There are typically two tests that Dr. Steve will use – either the “puff of air” tonometer test or with an applanation tonometer. The phrase “tonometer” refers to the device that measures the pressure within your eyes.

Since your eye is full of fluid, there is an inherent pressure, which must lie within certain limits. If it’s too high, you may be at risk of glaucoma.

Puff of Air Glaucoma Test

Also known as non-contact tonometry. This is where you rest your chin on the machine’s chin rest, look at a light inside of the machine while the doctor or one of his assistants sends a small air burst towards your eyeball.

During the puff of air, the tonometer is able to take a precise pressure reading, referred to as the intraocular pressure (IOP).

This procedure is harmless and lasts a fraction of a second. No examination equipment touches your eye.

Applanation Tonometer Glaucoma Test

This device will briefly touch the surface of your eye in order to take a pressure measurement.

Dr. Steve will have a numbing agent dropped into each eye prior to each test. It is normally yellow in color and helps the doctor have a more detailed examination of your eye. The drops may make your eyes feel a little heavy, however the effect wears off in short order.

Some tonometers are hand held, while others are built into the slit lamp machine. The measurement is still the same: the tonometer briefly and gently touches the surface of your eye, takes an accurate pressure reading which Dr. Steve will want to know.

You might feel a light and brief tickling sensation during this procedure, it’s only the tonometer touching your eye.

A small number of patients, who have a vasovagal response, may become light headed during the applanation tonometer eye test. If this does happen, the staff is well prepared and no need to worry.

Glaucoma generally does not have any warning signs, and it might not be until you have experienced a vision loss that it will become apparent to you. For this reason, eye doctors will usually perform a glaucoma test at every comprehensive eye examination.

Prevention is the best cure in this case. By having a yearly eye examination with Dr. Steve, you reduce the risk of eye diseases harming your eyes.