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Eye Exam for Glaucoma

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 @ 07:06 AM
Author: Jason Lau

Eye Exam for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the most common eye issues people deal with. Glaucoma can affect anyone, but most often affects people age 65 and older. One of the first signs of glaucoma is slight blurry vision, for both people who have good eye sight and those who use glasses or contact lenses.

Starting at age 40, you should have annual eye exams from a professional. Glaucoma is one of the things they will test for and here’s what you can expect when going into an eye exam.

Testing for Glaucoma

Testing for glaucoma is most often done with the NCT or non-contact tonometry test. This is when a puff of air is administered to the eye. You may remember this from Friends when Rachel visited the eye doctor. The puff is quick and clean, which means there’s no reason to worry about the tickling sensation that sometimes accompanies an NCT.

Depending on how resistant to the air puff your eyes are determines your probability of obtaining glaucoma. The NCT calculates your IOP or intraocular pressure. Those with high eye pressure have a higher risk of getting glaucoma.

Applanation Tonometer

The applanation tonometer method is less common, but still widely used when an optometrist is testing for glaucoma. For this method, yellow dye is placed in the eye which creates a heavy feeling on the eye. This is not a dilating tool. The yellow dye shows up prominently when the optometrist places a blue light over the eye and applies slight pressure to the eye’s surface.

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