Diagnosis & Tests for Glaucoma in Portland, Maine

By Samuel Solish, M.D.

The Eyecare Medical Group eye doctors and Glaucoma Specialists offer the most advanced diagnostic imaging, diagnostic testing, examination and consultation for the diagnosis of Glaucoma. The key to preventing vision loss from Glaucoma is to have regular and complete eye examinations with the necessary Glaucoma diagnostic testing as recommended by an eye doctor. There is a battery of tests that your doctor may use either individually or together in order to make the most precise diagnosis of Glaucoma. These include the following testing procedures:

  • Tonometry
    The Tonometry Test is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP). This test involves first placing some eye drops into your eyes to numb them and then lightly touching the surface of the Cornea with a specialized measuring instrument. There is no discomfort involved and the test is quick and gives your doctor the first piece of important information in determining whether you have Glaucoma.
  • Ophthalmoscopy
    Ophthalmoscopy is a method of carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect Glaucoma. Some eye drops will be placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that clear and direct observation of the optic nerve is possible. In a darkened room, your eye doctor may use several types of Ophthalmoscopes in order to examine the shape and color of your optic nerve.

If either your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or your optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the Glaucoma examination.  As most types of glaucoma are slowly progressive, it may take years for sufficient evidence to be found, so many of these tests will need to be repeated periodically.  These may include the following test procedures:

  • Optic Nerve Stereo Photography: A special camera may be used to obtain stereoscopic (often called “3D vision”) photographs of your optic nerves.  These provide a useful objective record of your optic nerve appearance against which future comparisons may be made. 
  • Visual Field Perimetry: Perimetry of Visual Field testing is an important part of the Glaucoma examination. During this test you will be asked to sit in front of a large “bowl like” instrument and focus straight ahead. A computer program will present a number of flashing lights in different positions of your “side” or peripheral vision to see how far your side vision extends in various directions. The computer will then plot an actual map of your field of vision so that the Eyecare Medical Group eye doctors can interpret this map in conjunction with other examination tests in order to understand how well your optic nerve is functioning.
  • Gonioscopy: Gonioscopy is a quick and painless test that allows the eye doctor to directly observe the health and condition of the angle where the Iris meets the Cornea. By directly observing the angle and its status your doctor can understand more about whether you are at risk for the angle to become closed or whether the Trabecular Meshwork appears to have a normal anatomical structure.
  • Optic Nerve Computer Imaging: At Eyecare Medical Group our eye doctors use the most advanced computer imaging technology in order to make the earliest and most accurate diagnosis of Glaucoma. This computerized imaging system is located right in our office so it is convenient for our patients. We use OCT or Optical Coherence Tomography, a laser technology that is capable of creating digital images through the use of special beams of light in order to create a contour map of the optic nerve and measure the retinal nerve fiber thickness. The goal of Optic Nerve Computer Imaging and OCT is to give us the ability to detect the slightest loss of optic nerve fibers, at the first possible moment, in order to diagnose Glaucoma at the earliest possible stage in order to stop the progression of the disease and preserve your vision.
  • Pachymetry Measurement of Corneal Thickness: The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health released an important study in 2002, called the Ocular Hypertension Study (OHTS). In this study an important finding occurred regarding corneal thickness and its role in Intraocular Pressure and the development of Glaucoma.
    The OHTS study found that corneal thickness is important because it can alter the accuracy of the measurement of Intraocular Pressure, potentially causing doctors to delay necessary treatment in some cases or causing doctors to treat normal people unnecessarily in other cases. Your actual Intraocular Pressure may be UNDERESTIMATED if you have thin corneas and it may be OVERESTIMATED if you have thicker corneas.

During your Glaucoma examination, your eye doctor may perform a Pachymetry Test to measure your corneal thickness as part of your examination and consider this finding in conjunction with the other Glaucoma testing in order to make the accurate diagnosis.

The Pachymetry Test is a simple, quick and painless way of accurately measuring your corneal thickness that our doctors do right in our office. The test is performed by first placing some drops in your eyes to make them numb and then lightly touching the cornea with a small probe that uses sound waves to precisely measure your corneal thickness.

Glaucoma is a very complex eye disease and not simply an elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP). Nonetheless, when detected early it can be successfully treated. Eyecare Medical Group eye doctors and our Glaucoma specialists provide the full scope of advanced technology diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as taking the time necessary to give each patient the personal education needed to fully understand their condition and get the best possible outcomes for their patients.

If you or a family member or friend have not had a recent Glaucoma screening or eye exam for Glaucoma, please take a moment to request an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine at 888-374-2020.

Eyecare Medical Group eye doctors and Glaucoma Specialists offer the most advanced diagnostic imaging, diagnostic testing, examination and consultation for the diagnosis of Glaucoma in Maine. We are conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.

Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine is conveniently located for patients with Cataracts interested in
Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants (IOL), LASIK, Diabetic Eye Problems, Macular Degeneration (AMD), Glaucoma,
Diseases and Surgery of the Retina & Cornea including Retinal Detachment & Cornea Transplants.