Project DetailsGlaucoma can be difficult condition to detect in the earliest stages, and it is vital that treatment is given as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the eye. Clinical instruments are available to examine the optic nerve head which aim to detect the presence of glaucoma and to monitor its progression. These machines are able to examine the front surface of the optic nerve head, but only a few are able to provide information on what is happening below the surface. Important changes occur under the surface of the optic nerve head in glaucoma and Drs. Julie Albon, James Morgan, Rachel North, Wolfgang Drexler, Michael Girard, and colleagues will use a new machine (a novel type of optical coherence tomography or OCT), which is able to examine both the front surface and parts below the surface in detail. As the optic nerve leaves the eye, it travels through holes (or pores) in the lamina cribrosa. In glaucoma there are changes to these pores and the shape and structure of the lamina cribrosa. Detecting these changes could be an important sign that glaucoma is developing or getting worse. Currently it is not possible for your eye doctor to examine the lamina cribrosa. Dr. Albon and colleagues will develop methods to analyze these changes in the lamina cribrosa so that as the novel technology becomes more available, researchers and eye doctors will be able to detect more rapidly changes to the optic nerve head due to glaucoma.