The optic nerve should be a primary area of concern after glaucoma symptoms are discovered, as the nerve fibers that control vision can easily become damaged due to intraocular pressure as a result of glaucoma illness. The optic disk can have its blood supply cut off causing eye tissue to turn a pure white color, as opposed to a normal red or pink coloring.
The less of a rim around your eye a ophthalmologist can see, the greater the damage has been done to your optical nerve. In order to examine if optic nerve damage is present, an eye doctor will usually dilute the pupil in order to investigator the optic nerve carefully by studying your eye using a slit lamp.
So What Is the Optic Nerve?
The optic nerve is essentially a series of nerve fibers which would transmit messages between the brain and the retina, using nerve fibers which are commonly called axons.
There are a number of procedures which can be utilized in glaucoma treatment which include polarimetry and ultrasound biomicroscopy. Polarimetry is a nerve fiber analyzer that will use a laser in a computer in order to measure the thickness of the nerve fiber layering. The light as it strikes the eye will defract, and the amount of change that occurs will determine how thick the nerve tissue is.
Glaucoma damage will be evident by a very thin nerve fiber layer that demonstrates an extreme loss of optic cells. The polarimetry glaucoma test is fairly easy to perform and only takes a couple seconds to complete.
Ultrasound biomicroscopy will use a very small instrument in order to study the angle of the cornea and the iris, which is a specially useful in narrow angle glaucoma diagnosis.
Flow meter testing can also be used in order to determine the rate of blood flow that runs through the optic nerve, in order to estimate the amount of glaucoma damage. This picture can then be studied on a color screen in the test itself only takes a couple of seconds.
Electrophysiology is another common technique used to study damage to the optic nerve and it uses electronic signals and responses to a light in order to measure the extent with which glaucoma has occurred. Individuals with glaucoma of the eye will have less of a response to an electrical impulse than those with healthy eyes.
Optical nerve studies are important in order to stop the deterioration of nerve fibers which can gradually choke off vision.