Physical examination for glaucoma

Glaucoma is not diagnosed using a physical examination alone. A medical history and other tests are also needed to diagnose the condition. During the physical exam for glaucoma, the health professional will:

  • Measure the eye pressure (intraocular pressure). Often pressure in the eye is high when glaucoma is present. However, a person can still have glaucoma when the pressure in the eye is within the normal range (10 millimeters of mercury [mm Hg] to 21 mm Hg).
  • Examine the optic nerve in the back of the eye to look for signs of damage that could be caused by glaucoma.
  • Perform visual field tests which can detect loss of side (peripheral) vision and central vision. Loss of vision may indicate damage to the optic nerve caused by glaucoma.
  • Test how quickly the dark spot in the center of your eye (pupil) closes (constricts) when bright light is shined on it. If the pupil does not react to light, closed-angle glaucoma may be suspected.
  • Look at your eyes for signs of redness or excessive tearing. Redness and excessive tearing could indicate closed-angle glaucoma. However, glaucoma most often has no symptoms.

Last Updated: May 23, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.