Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s specialists continuously fight the severe consequences of not detecting the disease in its early stages — each year we treat nearly 40,000 patients who have advanced glaucoma. To achieve an accurate assessment, experienced ophthalmologists or optometrists perform a comprehensive glaucoma screening that consists of three non-invasive, pain-free procedures:
- Measurement of intraocular eye pressure (IOP). Elevated IOP is considered a major risk factor for the development of glaucoma. Studies have shown that optic nerve damage becomes more likely as the IOP increases.
- Assessment of the optic nerve. A non-invasive slit lamp biomicroscope is used to determine whether or not there are changes in the optic nerve in the diagnosis for glaucoma. Newer diagnostic studies, including scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, spectral domain optical coherence tomography, and scanning laser polarimetry, now permit precise determination of optic nerve characteristics that cannot be detected by the unaided human eye.
- Evaluation of a patient’s visual field. Glaucomatous
damage produces characteristic defects in the visual field.