Anatomy optic nerve

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which you can think of as a cable made of many wires connecting the back of the eye to your brain.  In glaucoma, the eye pressure is too high for the health of this nerve.  The individual “wires in the cable,” therefore, stop working as they should.  When they do, you may start to lose your peripheral, or side, vision.  Without intervention, this vision loss may advance to blindness.

Regular eye examinations are crucial to diagnosing this “silent” disease.  At Eye Physicians of Washington, we use advanced technology to aid in glaucoma diagnosis, monitoring, and individualized treatment plans.

Diagnosis and Monitoring

Dilated eye examinations include 3-D observation of your optic nerves, with particular attention to any worrisome features including abnormal nerve shape, color, or appearance.

Eye pressure is measured and compared against your personal eye pressure history.

We may measure the thickness of your cornea (or the front, clear part of your eye).  This will help your eye physician to build an individualized treatment plan.

Formal peripheral (side) vision testing may be used to determine your baseline status or to monitor any progression of vision changes.   To perform this visual field test, a small light is repeatedly flashed before each of your eyes.  When you see the light flash, a hand-held button is pushed.  A computer compiles the data and builds a map of your peripheral vision, which your eye doctor can then analyze for changes.

Glaucoma field test

Nerve fiber layer imaging may be performed to quantify and analyze any changes in your optic nerves.  This test is essentially an advanced photograph of your nerves that aids your eye doctor in making treatment decisions for you.

Treatment plans

Glaucoma treatment may include prescription eye drops, laser treatments, or glaucoma surgery.

We have the capability to perform SLT, or Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty.  This laser treatment offers patients another way to reduce their glaucoma progression risk.

Read more about glaucoma from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.