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If I have high eye pressure, do I have glaucoma?

It was once believed that measuring the eye's intraocular pressure (IOP) was enough to diagnose glaucoma. However, recent studies show that just measuring eye pressure is not a reliable way to detect glaucoma.

Eye pressure can go up and down during the day or in a month. Also, some people's optic nerves are not damaged by high pressure while others' optic nerves are damaged by relatively low pressure.

To be safe and accurate, five factors should be checked when making a glaucoma diagnosis:

  1. the inner eye pressure (IOP) [Tonometry test]
  2. the shape and color of the optic nerve (Ophthalmoscopy or dilated eye exam)
  3. the complete field of vision (Perimetry test)
  4. the angle in the eye where the iris meets the cornea (Goniscopy test)
  5. the thickness of the cornea (Pachymetry test)

Learn more about diagnostic tests for glaucoma

Last reviewed on October 29, 2017

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