What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that affects your optic nerve. It’s called the ‘sneak thief’ of sight because it slowly destroys vision and eventually causes blindness. In many cases, it’s related to elevated pressure inside your eye.
Unfortunately, there are often no symptoms until the disease is well advanced. The good news is though that nowadays glaucoma can be well controlled.
If you have regular eye exams, we can detect the early signs of glaucoma and that means we can start treatment before too much vision has been lost. That’s why it’s so important to have regular eye tests. Today, we have high tech equipment available to diagnose glaucoma earlier than ever before.
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
Many people actually have no symptoms at all. If they do, then the first symptom is usually a reduction in side (peripheral) vision which gradually advances into their central field of view, eventually leading to tunnel vision.
Could you be at risk?
If one or more of the following applies to you then we strongly recommend annual eye checks (instead of every two years).
- If you have a family member with glaucoma.
- If you are using steroid medication for an extended amount of time.
- If you’re of South-East Asian ethnicity.
- If you have a high degree of short sightedness.
How to control Glaucoma
With the right treatment, glaucoma can usually be managed and we can prevent further loss of sight or at least, slow it down.
There are three main types of treatment:
This is the most common treatment aimed at reducing pressure in the eyes. The drops must be used as prescribed.
If the eye drops haven’t been effective then laser surgery may be an alternative.
In most cases, surgery is the last resort if eye drops or laser treatment haven’t given you control. Thankfully modern surgical procedures are constantly improving.