Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve (the main nerve that takes visual information from the eye to the brain) becomes damaged. Glaucoma is a gradual conditional and is normally asymptomatic until it is quite advanced. This is usually due to a rise in intra-ocular pressure (IOP). Damage can't be reversed - however, if diagnosed early, further damage to vision can be prevented. If left untreated this damage can lead to blindness.
Glaucoma generally has no symptoms in the early stages. Late stage glaucoma, if untreated, leads to loss of visual field. The risk with Glaucoma is that it may go unnoticed until vision is profoundly affected.
An acute angle closure attack which is a different form of the disease can cause eyes to be red and painful, and vision to be hazy with halos around bright light.
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)
POAG is the most common form of glaucoma. The drainage angle formed by the cornea and the iris remains open but the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. This causes the pressure in the eye to gradually increase.
Narrow Angles (angle-closure glaucoma)
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle between the cornea and the iris is narrowed or blocked. When this occurs the fluid cant circulate through the eye and the pressure increases.
Every patient is unique and would require a consultation with one of the ophthalmologists at MEC to determine a suitable treatment for their specific case.
Normally POAG is treated with drops - however, laser or surgical procedures may be required.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT): A cool laser to promote drainage that can be used when glaucoma is first diagnosed instead of drops or to compliment a drop regiment.
iStent: A microsurgical procedure where a micro trabecular bypass implant helps to drain fluid from the eye and reduces pressure.
Monitoring service: A 6-12 month monitoring plan for all patients with glaucoma and glaucoma suspects is maintained in order to capture and treat any potential glaucoma problems before any significant vision is lost.