Gonioscopy: What to Expect, Aim, and Importance

Gonioscopy is a non-invasive procedure that your ophthalmologist uses to examine the drainage angle of your eye. Between the iris and the cornea, this region is at the front of the eye. It is where aqueous humor, or eye fluid, actually drains out of your eye. A gonioscopy will be performed by your ophthalmologist to see if this drainage angle is working properly.

What to Expect During a Gonioscopy


You will rest your head in the chin holder of a slit-lamp microscope for a gonioscopy test (the special instrument your ophthalmologist uses to look in your eyes). Your eyes would have been numbed with eye drops by this point.

A special contact lens with mirrors will be placed directly on your eye by your ophthalmologist. They will shine a light through the lens to draw attention to the drainage angle. The lens mirrors aid in revealing this aspect of the eye, which is difficult to see since it is actually around a corner within the eye.

Although the lens may make contact with your eyelashes, a gonioscopy is usually painless. This test normally only takes a few minutes.

What Is the Aim of Gonioscopy?
Aqueous humor is continually generated by our eyes. When new aqueous enters your eye, approximately the same volume should exit through the drainage angle. This mechanism maintains a constant intraocular pressure (IOP) in your eye. Fluid builds up if the drainage angle is not working correctly. The optic nerve is damaged as the pressure in the eye increases. Glaucoma sometimes evolves in this manner.

The most popular reason for gonioscopy is to look for symptoms of glaucoma. The test will reveal if your drainage angle is too small for fluid to drain properly or whether a part of your iris is blocking it.

When there are symptoms of uveitis, eye damage, tumors, or other disorders, gonioscopy can also be performed.

When Is a Gonioscopy Necessary?


About the age of 40, the first symptoms of vision changes and eye disease may appear. Both adults should have a baseline eye condition test with an ophthalmologist at this time.

Your ophthalmologist will perform a gonioscopy to verify the appearance and function of your drainage angle when screening for symptoms of glaucoma. Some individuals suspected of having glaucoma may or may not have elevated eye pressure, but their ophthalmologist may find other symptoms of this condition developing. In this situation, the ophthalmologist may want to perform a gonioscopy, and other glaucoma scans on a regular basis to monitor any improvements.
When it comes to keeping an eye on your vision, time is of the essence. You must attend your ophthalmologist’s scheduled appointments.

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