Glaucoma is a disease which causes damage to the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye. It can be caused by an increase in the eye’s internal pressure which can either be as a result of too much fluid being produced or a drop in the eye’s ability to allow this fluid to drain away. The danger with chronic glaucoma is that in the early stages there can be significant damage taking place but as there is no pain and the eyes feel normal you will probably be unaware that there is a problem.
Glaucoma is a sight threatening problem which can be hereditary, so if there is a family history of glaucoma in your family we recommend annual sight tests from the age of 40 years.
Prevention is better than cure!
When performing an eye examination your optician will analysis the head of your optic nerve which we can see at the back of your eye. The pressure in the eye will be measured and a visual field test performed to check your peripheral fields are clear. Unlike many optical practices our opticians also have access to an instrument called a 3D-OCT which allows us the scan the optic nerve and can detect this sight-threatening disease at a much earlier stage.
If any problems should be found then your optician would refer you to an ophthmologist (eye doctor), usually at the eye department of a hospital. If treatment is required there are several options available, the hospital will decide which is best for you; this can involve eye drops, laser treatment, an operation or a combination of all three.
If you are interested in private specialist treatment for Glaucoma then please contact our colleagues at The Medical Eye Clinic.