What To Expect When Getting Your Eyes Checked For Glaucoma

Posted on: 17 January 2017

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause severe blindness, and the condition can happen to anyone at any time. You may be more at risk for the disease if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a genetic predisposition, so if you feel you may be more at risk than others, you should have your optometrist check your eyes for signs of glaucoma. Testing can be done at your local eye clinic and takes but a minute. Here are things you should expect from this type of treatment.

Discussion of your medical history

Your eye doctor will want to talk to you about your medical and family history. Things they will want to talk about include whether you have ever smoked or are a current smoker, if you have diabetes (and whether you are treating it or not), any family members who have had glaucoma and when they got it, and if you have untreated hypertension or high blood pressure. You will want to be as honest with your eye doctor as possible about these things, even if the conditions are well-managed with your current physician.

Various tests

Many factors go into checking your eye health for pressure or optic nerve damage that can cause or be a sign of glaucoma. Your optician may want to use a special formula and dye to dilate your eyes so they can check tear production and the nerves behind your eye. They may use a special machine that shoots a small blast of air into your eye so they can measure how quickly your eyes return to their normal shape after pressure is applied to them. They will want to give you a visual exam, where they look at the inside of your eye via small lights and microscopes. These tests are all done quickly and painlessly at your eye appointment.

If your eyes have been dilated to check for glaucoma, you may want to call someone to give you a ride home since your vision may be blurry for several hours. Plan to have a friend or family member meet you at the eye doctor to arrange for safe transportation home when you make your appointment.

Your eye health is important, and while there is no cure for glaucoma, you can help prevent it by being tested for it at every regular eye appointment so you can treat the condition as soon as it is recognized. Talk about all eye health concerns, such as blurry or double vision or tension headaches behind your eyes, with your optician.