Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada, often referred to as the “Silent Thief of Sight.” Glaucoma occurs as a result of progressive degeneration of the optic nerve which, in turn, leads to damaged nerve tissue and vision loss.
There are two forms of glaucoma:
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the more common of the two, occurring when the eye’s drainage system becomes increasingly inefficient. This causes the aqueous fluid in the eye to build up, creating pressure on the optic nerve and eventually leading to damage.
Angle-closure glaucoma is considered an eye emergency as it is severe and often sudden. It occurs when the drainage angle in the eye closes or becomes blocked, creating a fluid buildup and increased intraocular pressure.
Tests for Glaucoma
We use 3 tests to check our patients for glaucoma:
Non-contact tonometry (NCT) measures your eye’s intraocular pressure. The tool blows a small puff of air into the eye and measures your eye’s resistance to the air puff. This tool does not come into contact with your eye, and thus does not require an anesthetic.
Perkins or Goldmann tonometry are both forms of applanation tonometry. We use a small flat-tipped cone that gently touches your cornea and measures the amount of force needed to flatten it. We will give you anesthetic eye drops to numb your eyes before performing this test.
Pachymetry tests measure the thickness of your cornea, giving us a more accurate reading of your intraocular pressure. It is a quick test that is usually painless.
If you have questions about your eye health, please book an appointment at your earliest convenience.