Glaucoma: Importance of early diagnosis

Tue, 01/19/2021 - 03:07

Glaucoma: Importance of early diagnosis

Glaucoma is high eye pressure, leading to damage to the optic nerve (the nerve that connects our eye to the brain). This can lead to permanent damage to the field of vision. In severe cases can cause tunnel vision and blindness. Even in less severe forms, glaucoma can interfere with independent living and can even affect our ability to drive.

Regular eye exams with your eye specialist, particularly if there is a family history of glaucoma, can detect the condition early.

there are many sensitive tests that can help your ophthalmologist to follow up with your case including Visual Field tests and Optical Coherence Tomography scans. Both are done in clinic and only take a few minutes with no discomfort.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the key is to lower the eye pressure and preserve vision. We at city eye center offer the comprehensive treatment options under supervision of an experienced Glaucoma Consultant.

  • Eye drops: There are a wide variety of eye drops which can be used to lower the eye pressure. They are usually taken once or twice a day but do need to be instilled regularly for the rest of your life.
  •  Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty: This is a simple and painless laser treatment that only takes a few minutes to perform and you can go home the same day. It can be done either to supplement the effect of eye drops or to replace them completely. At the time of your consultation, your consultant will discuss how this can help you.
    •  Laser Peripheral Iridotomy: In a particular type of glaucoma (narrow angle glaucoma), a very small channel is created in the iris (the coloured part of your eye) using a special laser. This can not only help lower the pressure but can also prevent future attacks of very high pressure (called acute angle closure glaucoma)
    •  Cyclodiode: If the eye pressure is not being controlled despite best efforts with all other treatment options, this laser can be performed to stop production of fluid in the eye (this is done by a part of the eye called the ciliary body).
  • Surgery
    •  Cataract Surgery: simply removing a developing cataract can not only lead to improvement in vision but can also lower the eye pressure.
    •  Trabeculectomy with antimetabolite injection: This involves creating a flap on the surface of the eye which allows fluid to drain out. A special anti-scarring medication is used to ensure success.
    •  Aqueous Shunt Devices: These devices comprise of a soft footplate connected to a plastic tube. The tube is inserted into the eye whilst the footplate is secured to the surface of the eye and drains fluid out.  Performing either a trabeculectomy or aqueous shunt device insertion is reserved for cases that are not responding to other suitable treatments as listed above.

Early detection and prompt treatment of glaucoma is essential to preserve vision. An ongoing and strong support system surrounding you can make all the difference in living a fulfilling life despite glaucoma.