Glaucoma is characterized by a typical appearance of the optic disc and peripheral visual field loss. However, diagnosis may be challenging even for an experienced clinician due to wide variability among normal and glaucomatous eyes. Standard automated perimetry is routinely used to establish the diagnosis of glaucoma. However, there is evidence that substantial retinal ganglion cell damage may occur in glaucoma before visual field defects are seen. The introduction of newer imaging devices such as confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, scanning laser polarimetry and optical coherence tomography for measuring structural changes in the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer seems promising for early detection of glaucoma. New functional tests may also help in the diagnosis. However, there is no evidence that a single measurement is superior to the others and a combination of tests may be needed for detecting early damage in glaucoma.