Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Diagnosis of Glaucoma

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Diagnosis of Glaucoma

An eye doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. 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, a scope is 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 if there is damage to any areas.

Pachymetry—The thickness of the cornea is measured with a special machine.

Nerve fiber layer analysis—A special machine measures 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.
  • Gedde SJ, Lind JT, Wright MM, et al; American Academy of Ophthalmology. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Suspect Preferred Practice Pattern Guidelines. Ophthalmology. 2021;128(1):P150-P192.
  • Glaucoma. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/glaucoma.
  • Primary open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/primary-open-angle-glaucoma.
  • What is glaucoma? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma.
  • What is glaucoma? Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: https://glaucoma.org/learn-about-glaucoma/what-is-glaucoma.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.