Glaucoma

What is it?

It is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve by increased pressure within your eye damaging the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the channel through which the information about the images you see, are carried to the brain for interpretation.

Risk Factors:

  • Being very near or farsighted
  • Having has an eye injury or certain types of surgery
  • Taking certain medications such as steroids for a long time
  • Increases with age, after 40 years, particularly after 60 years
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Race: being or having Asian, Hispanic, or black heritage
  • Having thin corneas
  • Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure

Lower your risk factors by:

  • Exercising
  • Have regular routine eye examinations.
  • Wear protective eyewear, particularly with racquet sports and high powered tools.

Symptoms

It is one of the leading causes of blindness and has no warning signs. Because the vision lost to glaucoma cannot be recovered, it’s important to have regular eye examinations. Early detection means earlier treatment and so slowing or preventing vision loss. Peripheral vision loss, often in both eyes, occurs as the condition slowly progresses or remains untreated.

Open-angle glaucoma

Drainage angles remain open, but the trabecular meshwork (between the cornea and the iris), is blocked, causing pressure to build.

Angle-closure

  • This occurs when the drainage angle between the cornea and the iris is blocked and the fluid cannot circulate. Some people have naturally narrow angles which increases the risk for this condition.
  • If your angle closes, it is treated as a medical emergency, and intervention is needed to relieve the pressure before irredeemable damage is done to the retina.
  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and possible vomiting
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

Normal-tension glaucoma

Even though your pressures are normal, your optic nerve is becoming damaged. The reason for this is not known, however, you might have a condition that limits blood flow, such as atherosclerosis.

Glaucoma in children

It’s rare for infants and children to have glaucoma. However, babies can be born with it, and children and teens to develop it. Because this condition can be symptomless, it’s important for children to have regular eye examinations as they grow throughout their lives.

Treatment

Eye drops are usually the first course of action and can significantly reduce the risk that high pressure will progress to glaucoma. You need to take them regularly as prescribed as they can slow or even prevent vision loss.

Other alternatives to eye drops are laser treatment which includes:

  • Trabeculoplasty, which opens up the drainage tubes and so relieves the pressure within the eye.
  • Laser iridotomy can create holes in your iris to allow fluid to drain or a laser that destroys some of the tissues that are causing the buildup in pressure.
  • Surgery may also be an option aimed at increasing the draining within your eye.

Our Eye Examination

History taking and symptoms, together with ophthalmoscopy, Auto K readings, visual field tests, refraction results, and the intra-ocular pressure check all combine to give a picture of your retina and whether you have any obvious signs for glaucoma. For those on our eye care packages (the advanced who are on anterior and retina modules), the additional anterior mapping of your cornea and retinal rim will enable early diagnosis. For those on the gold package who have Gonioscopy and repeated tests, you will have what is considered the gold standard in glaucoma monitoring and care.