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Eye Health Center

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Angle Recession Glaucoma

Exams and Tests continued...

  • Visual field testing is very important in detecting and monitoring optic nerve damage caused by angle recession glaucoma. Visual field testing checks your peripheral (or side) vision, usually with an automated visual field machine. This test is done to rule out any visual field defects due to glaucoma.

    • Visual field defects may not become apparent until over 40% of the optic nerve fiber layer has been lost.

    • Visual field testing may need to be repeated. If there is a low risk of glaucomatous damage, then the test may be performed only once a year. If there is a high risk of glaucomatous damage, then the test may be performed as frequently as every 2 months.

    • If your visual field defects seem to appear or change in a manner that is uncharacteristic of glaucoma, then your ophthalmologist performs additional tests to look for other causes of vision loss.

  • Tonometry is a method used to measure the pressure inside the eye.

    • Elevated IOP in one eye is a hallmark finding in angle recession glaucoma, but it may not be noted early on. High IOP that occurs soon after the injury (within the first few months) may indicate more extensive damage and, thus, a poorer prognosis.

    • Measurements are taken for both eyes on at least 2-3 occasions. Because IOP varies from hour to hour in any individual, measurements may be taken at different times of day (e.g., morning and night). A difference in pressure between the 2 eyes of 3 mm Hg or more may suggest glaucoma.

    • As in other forms of glaucoma, uncontrolled and sustained IOP elevation in angle recession glaucoma ultimately leads to optic nerve damage and vision loss.

  • Each optic nerve is examined for any damage or abnormalities; this may require dilation of the pupils to ensure an adequate examination of the optic nerves.

    • Different imaging studies may be conducted to document the status of your optic nerve and to detect changes over time.

    • Fundus photographs, which are pictures of your optic disc (the front surface of your optic nerve), are sometimes taken for future reference and comparison.

  • The front of your eyes (or anterior segment), which includes your cornea, anterior chamber, iris, and lens, are examined using a slit lamp. A number of abnormalities in the anterior segment often accompany angle recession.

  • Abnormalities in the posterior segment may signify prior episodes of trauma, which might have caused the angle recession. The posterior segment is considered to include the choroid, the retina, the optic nerve, and the vitreous humor (a gel-like substance in the eye that, along with aqueous humor, helps to retain eye pressure).

  • Your visual acuity, which refers to how well you can see an object, is also evaluated. Your ophthalmologist determines your visual acuity by having you read letters from across a room using an eye chart. Any changes in visual acuity are not typically seen until the late stages of glaucoma.

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