Diagnosis of Glaucoma

An eye care provider will ask about your symptoms and health history. An eye exam will be done. Tests may be:

Visual acuity —This test measures how well a person can see letters and numbers from a distance.

Tonometry —This test measures the pressure inside the eye. Air may be blown onto the cornea to take the reading. Or a small plastic tool may be pushed against the eye to measure it.

Gonioscopy —A special lens is used to view the drainage angle of the eye.

Pupil dilation —Eye drops are used to make the pupils larger to get a better view of the inside of the eye.

Ophthalmoscopy —After eye drops are given, an ophthalmoscope will be used to view the health of the optic nerve and retina.

Perimetry (visual field test) —This test makes a map of a person's field of vision. It is used to check whether there is damage to any areas.

Pachymetry —The thickness of the cornea may be measured using a special machine called a corneal pachymeter.

Nerve fiber layer analysis —A special machine may be used to measure the thickness of the nerve fiber around the optic nerve.



Angle-closure glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/angle-closure-glaucoma . Updated October 24, 2016. Accessed April 29, 2020.
Facts about glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts. Updated March 11, 2020. Accessed April 29, 2020.
Primary open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/primary-open-angle-glaucoma . Updated February 7, 2020. Accessed April 29, 2020.
Prum BE Jr, Rosenberg LF, et al; American Academy of Ophthalmology. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines. Ophthalmology. 2016 Jan;123(1):P41-P111.
What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at:
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Updated August 28, 2019. Accessed April 29, 2020.
What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at:
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Accessed April 29, 2020.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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