What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the optic nerve is damaged at the point where it leaves the eye.
Your eye needs a certain amount of pressure to keep the eyeball in shape so that it can work properly. In some people, the damage is caused by raised eye pressure. Others may have an eye pressure within normal limits but damage occurs because there is a weakness in the optic nerve. In most cases both factors are involved but to a varying extent.
Eye pressure is largely independent of blood pressure.
What increases the risk of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma becomes much more common with increasing age.
If you have a close relative who has glaucoma then you should have eye tests at intervals. You should advise other members of your family to do the same. This is especially important if you are aged over 40 when tests should be done every year.
People with a high degree of short sight ness are more prone to glaucoma. Also Diabetes is believed to increase the risk of developing this condition.
Why can Glaucoma be a serious risk to sight?
The danger with glaucoma is that your eye may seem perfectly normal. There is no pain and your eyesight will seem to be unchanged, but your vision is being impaired.
The early loss in the field of vision is usually in the shape of an arc a little above and/or below the centre when looking “straight ahead”. This blank area, if the glaucoma is untreated, spreads both outwards and inwards. The centre of the field is last affected so that eventually it becomes like looking through a long tube, so-called “tunnel vision”. If untreated, in time even this sight would be lost.
How is Glaucoma detected?
As glaucoma becomes much more common over the age of forty you should have eye tests at least every two years and ask for all three glaucoma tests. This has been shown to be much more effective in detecting glaucoma than just having one or two of the tests. These tests are:
- viewing your optical nerve via a slit lamp
- measuring the pressure in the eye using a special instrument
- being shown a sequence of spots of light on a screen (field test) and asked to say which ones you can see.
All these tests are very straight forward and can be done at the Ophthalmic Surgical Department.
How is Glaucoma treated?
The main treatment for glaucoma aims to reduce the pressure in your eye.
Treatment to lower the pressure is usually started with eye drops.
If this does not help, Mr. Georgiou may suggest either laser treatment, an operation called trabeculectomy or deep sclerectomy to improve the drainage of fluids from the eye. Surgery can also include the use of antimetabolite drugs which prevent the created flap of closing again.
Mr. Georgiou will discuss with you which is the best method in your particular case.
Can Glaucoma be cured?
Although damage already done cannot be repaired, with early diagnosis and careful regular observation and treatment, damage can usually be kept to a minimum, and good vision can be enjoyed indefinitely.
We offer consultation and management of all the kinds of glaucoma and associated problems:
Primary open angle glaucoma
Narrow angle glaucoma
Complications of glaucoma surgery
Cataracts associated with glaucoma
Humphrey visual fields
Optic disc photography
Lasers -532nm -YAG
Glaucoma filtering surgery (trabeculectomy)
Glaucoma non-penetrating surgery(deep sclerectomy)
Glaucoma antimetabolite filtering surgery
Combined glaucoma and cataract surgery
Argon Laser trabeculoplasty
YAG laser procedures
Surgical bleb manipulation
For more information please send us an enquiry