There are three main types of testing that may be carried out by an optometrist:
- Ophthalmoscopy – looking inside your eye to check what the optic disc, where the optic nerve joins the eye, looks like. This is done using an ophthalmoscope, a special torch for looking into the eyes.
- Measuring the pressure inside your eye (tonometry). This may be done with an instrument that sends a small puff of air onto the surface of the eye (non-contact tonometry) – the puff of air may make you jump a bit, but it will not hurt. Or the optometrist may place an instrument called a direct contact tonometer gently against the eye – if they do this test, they will use drops to numb your eyes first, so you will not feel anything.
- Checking your visual fields to make sure you don’t have have any abnormal blind spots.
Other instruments are now available for detecting and monitoring glaucoma but these are the most commonly used tests.