Glaucoma is an affliction of the optic nerve. It is often (but not always) caused by excessive intraocular pressure. The disorder progresses slowly and is often insidious, because it is painless and often goes unnoticed by patients for a considerable length of time. Glaucoma usually affects people over the age of 40 and is one of the most common causes of blindness. Therefore, people over 40 years of age should have their eyes checked regularly by an ophthalmologist. There are various ways of treating a positive glaucoma diagnosis. Eye drops can be used to reduce intraocular pressure, and laser treatments and operational measures can arrest the progression of damage to the optic nerve, curtailing any loss of vision. Fortunately, regularly treated and well-controlled glaucoma hardly ever leads to blindness these days.
The regularly conducted checks and tests are as follows:
Ophthalmoscopy: Examination and assessment of the optic nerve, using a special magnifying glass and light.
OCT: Measurement of nerve fiber layer thickness and optic nerve photography
Tonometry: Measurement of intraocular pressure
Perimetry: Testing of the visual field; respective measurement of malfunctions on the outer edges of the visual field.