Glaucoma

What is a Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve at the back of the eye becomes damaged. The optic nerve sends signals from the eye to the brain. Any damage to the nerve will result in damage to your eyesight.

Usually but not always, the damage occurs because pressure within the eye increases and damages nerve fibres which in turn leads to deterioration of field of vision. When a significant number of these nerve fibres are damaged, blind spots occur in the field of vision.

Sight loss in glaucoma usually happens very slowly over time and you may not have any early warning signs or notice deterioration in your vision until the later stages of the condition. There are an estimated half a million people in the UK alone, with undiagnosed Glaucoma.

The most common form of Glaucoma is called POAG - or Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, where sight loss starts around the edge of the field of vision and gradually moves inward In its advanced state, vision becomes narrower producing ‘tunnel vision’.

Predisposition to Glaucoma

  • Women are more prone to develop Glaucoma than men

  • You are more at risk if a close family member already has Glaucoma

  • People with Afro caribbean heritage are more prone to the condition than caucasians

  • Glaucoma is more common in later years, especially the over 40’s

Glaucoma is not curable, but there are very good methods of keeping it under control and preserving your sight.

What can we offer?

At iSIGHT, we can offer you an annual pathway of care which includes diagnostic tests for:

  • Visual Fields

  • Eye pressure checks

  • Ocular Coherence Tomography

  • Corneal thickness assessment

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Treatment

The most common treatments for Glaucoma are eye drops, laser treatment or surgery.

Treatment of acute Glaucoma is initially with drugs to reduce the pressure within the eye.

Laser Trabeculoplasty - A tiny opening is created in the sclera (the white part of your eye) allowing fluid to drain away, thereby lowering the pressure in your eye

Trabeculectomy - This involves removing a piece of tissue from the sclera, creating a flap through which the fluid drains

Viscocanalostomy - the drainage canal is enlarged to allow more fluid to drain from the eye, thus lowering the pressure within your eye.

If you would like further reading, we recommend www.nhs.uk , www.rnib.org.uk or www.glaucoma-association.com