10 November, 2021

How do I know if I have glaucoma?

Listen to the Programme on the TSF website
Ophthalmologist: Tatiana Queirós

Only in an appointment with a specialist doctor is it possible to know if you have glaucoma and the ophthalmologist Tatiana Queirós explains what the diagnosis consists of:

- It is only appropriate to have this type of appointment on a regular basis from the age of 40 / 50, or earlier if there is a personal history of trauma or eye surgery, or in this very important case, if there is a family history of glaucoma.

Only in an ophthalmology consultation will all the parameters be evaluated to make or not, the diagnosis of glaucoma. Apart from vision, we will evaluate if there are indirect or suspicious signs of this disease. We evaluate, for example, intraocular pressure, which is the pressure exerted by a liquid that we have inside the eye, and that in that particular eye, there is high pressure - which will lead to damage to the nerve cells responsible for transmitting vision. And, if this is not controlled, these cells may die, which may culminate in blindness, which in this case is irreversible.

We also analyse the fundus of the eye, specifically the optic nerve or disc, which is a kind of electrical cable that transmits visual information from the retina located in our eye to the brain, and we will exactly look for signs that this kind of "electrical cable" is already being damaged by this intraocular pressure.

It is a clinical diagnosis, which can often be made during the appointment itself, although complementary diagnostic tests are often requested, such as visual fields, tests to evaluate the thickness of the cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye, and other tests that evaluate in a more objective way if there is nerve cell damage. These tests can help to define the diagnosis of glaucoma, and will be useful mainly to define if we are in an early or more advanced phase of the disease, and thus help us to guide the treatment.

Tomorrow we will continue to ask questions about glaucoma.

With the support of the Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology.