I agree with the information provided by Glaucoma Australia. As with any disease or condition, diagnosis is made with a combination of history, examination findings and the results of tests. When considered together, these will indicate a probability of having glaucoma.
The history will provide information about symptoms which may be attributed to glaucoma as well as well as any risk factors for developing it. Some risk factors have a proven association with glaucoma. These include elevated intraocular pressure, increasing age, short sightedness or long sightedness, Afro-Carribean ancestry, Asian ancestry, below average central corneal thickness, ocular trauma or inflammation, previous ocular surgery and vasospastic disorders such as migraine and Raynaud's Phenomenon. Individuals on blood pressure treatment may be at risk due low perfusion pressure to the optic nerve overnight. However, there is no consistent evidence to support an increased risk of glaucoma due to high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes or thyroid eye disease.
Examination focuses on detecting glaucoma and understanding the mechanism for its development. Examiners will assess vision, intraocular pressure, corneal thickness, the shape of the front of the eye, the angle between the cornea and iris, the presence of cataract, the shape and size of the optic nerve, the health of the retinal nerve fibre layer.
Tests include a measure of peripheral visual function (perimetry), imaging of the optic nerve head (photography, OCT, HRT), measurement of the retinal nerve fibre layer (OCT, GDx) and measurement of the angle between cornea and iris (Pentacam, OCT). Not all these tests are indicated in all patients and there is a tendency by some to use too many tests and rely too heavily on their results. The most important aspect of assessment is the history and examination findings. Test results compliment these findings and help monitor the health of the optic nerve over time.
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