What is a Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition where there is progressive damage to the optic nerve, often due to raised intra-ocular pressure (raised pressure in the eye). It results in progressive loss of peripheral vision. If left untreated it can, over a number of years, lead to a loss of central vision. It often runs in families.
How do you check for Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is usually initially brought to attention by your optician. Your optician will refer you to an ophthalmologist to carry out further tests.
I will perform a full examination of your eyes including measuring the thickness of your corneas and placing a contact lens on your eye to look at the drainage angle. You will then undergo further tests including imaging of your optic nerve and computerised measurement of your visual fields.
Glaucoma is treated by reducing the pressure in the eye. This usually halts the progression of the disease. Most people with glaucoma lead normal lives with normal vision for all their life, especially if the condition is diagnosed and treated early.
The vast majority of people with glaucoma are treated with daily eye drops. Most people are treated with one drop once a day. Some people require more frequent drops
What is the treatment for Glaucoma?
Laser and surgery for Glaucoma
An alternative to drop treatment is laser treatment, called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT).
SLT is a quick painless procedure and can often reduce the eye pressure sufficiently so that drop treatment is not needed. SLT needs to be repeated every 2-4 years usually.
Specific forms of glaucoma can be treated with other forms of laser such as Peripheral Iridotomy or Cyclodiode Laser.
A minority of patients require surgery to control their eye pressure. This can often be combined with cataract surgery using very small implants called IStents
For more severe glaucoma an operation called a Trabeculectomy can be performed.
If you think you may have glaucoma or may be at risk of it, please contact my secretary for an appointment.