Glaucoma: exams

Complementary examinations, performed by the ophthalmologist, are necessary to make the diagnosis of glaucoma.
The tonometer allows the measurement of intraocular pressure.

Another examination: the fundus - after dilation of the pupil with an eye drop, allows to see the state of the retina which lines the bottom of the eye (it is the red pellet which one sees in the eyes on flash photos) and the condition of the optic nerve.

Another complementary examination, the gonioscope, measures the iridocorneal angle and makes it possible to diagnose the type of glaucoma.

The exploration of the visual field (or perimetry) makes it possible to objectify the attack of the retina: indeed, if areas of the retina are injured, the corresponding areas of the visual field will be visualized on examination. This complementary examination makes it possible to follow the evolution of the glaucoma and the damage that it causes.


The treatment is essentially local: eyedrops decreasing the production of aqueous humor or facilitating the circulation of the aqueous humor are prescribed. Warning: the eye drops have a very short expiry date, from the moment the bottle is opened, it should not be used more than 15 days to 1 month maximum. It is also essential to wash your hands with water and soap before instilling drops.

Beta-blocker eye drops are often used. In this case, it is important to inform the doctor, because this molecule also has a cardiac and respiratory action. In the same way, the patient will inform the ophthalmologist of possible cardiac or respiratory antecedents as well as the taking of drugs.

It is essential to follow your treatment very regularly, at regular hours. Just as it is essential to regularly see the ophthalmologist: the surveillance is done by analyzing the evolution of visual acuity, the examination of the retina and the optic nerve at the back of the eye, the visual field and the measurement of intraocular pressure.

It is also necessary to talk about the possible difficulties to follow the treatment, its possible side effects: discomfort, cardio-vascular disorders, ocular disorders, modifications of the vision. Do not hesitate to talk to the doctor!

When medical treatment is not enough, a small surgery trabeculoplasty will promote flow through the filter. The iridotomy, a breach in the iris, will promote the flow of aqueous humor between the posterior chamber and anterior chamber.

Both interventions then require regular medical follow-up. In addition, medication therapy will always be essential.

Another possible intervention: the removal of a portion of trabeculum allows the restoration of the circulation of the aqueous humor. Thereafter medical treatment will still be prescribed.

To read also our files:
> Vision disorders
> The detachment of the retina
> Cataract
> Focus on eye diseases

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