GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is a condition that usually involves an increase in pressure inside the eye. It occurs when the fluid in the eyeball, known as aqueous humour, fails to properly drain out of the eye, causing a build-up of intraocular pressure. This can lead to the optic nerve or the nerve fibres of the retina becoming damaged.

Glaucoma can affect both eyes, but the condition may develop faster in one eye more than the other.

TYPES OF GLAUCOMA

There are four main variations of Glaucoma:

  • Primary open-angle Glaucoma – This form of Glaucoma is the most prevalent, and its progression can be very gradual.

  • Primary angle-closure Glaucoma – This is a rare form of Glaucoma and can be either Chronic or Acute.

  • Secondary Glaucoma – Secondary Glaucoma is normally a result of another eye injury or condition. 

  • Developmental Glaucoma (congenital Glaucoma) – This is a rare type but it can be serious. It is found in very young children and is often a result of an irregularity in the eye.

 

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of Glaucoma can depend on the type you have.

PRIMARY OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA 

The symptoms of Primary open-angle Glaucoma are not initially noticeable as the condition usually progresses slowly. It affects the peripheral vision first before moving towards the centre as the condition develops, meaning you may not notice the damage straight away.

ACUTE ANGLE-CLOSURE GLAUCOMA

Acute angle-closure Glaucoma usually progresses quickly, with symptoms including:

  • Excessive eye pain

  • Eye redness

  • Headaches

  • Tenderness of the eye and surrounding area 

  • Halos or rings forming around lights

  • Misty vision

  • Rapid vision loss in either one or both eyes

  • Nausea

CHRONIC ANGLE-CLOSURE GLAUCOMA

Symptoms of chronic closed-angle glaucoma are more subtle. You may not notice any changes, or, if the condition progresses, you may realise that your sight is deteriorating and that you are losing the edges of your field of vision. Occasionally, some people experience eye pain and redness, but not as severely as in acute closed-angle glaucoma

SECONDARY GLAUCOMA 

As secondary Glaucoma is normally caused by another condition, the symptoms can sometimes be mistaken. However, you may still experience hazy vision, or you may see halos when you look at lights.  

WHAT CAUSES GLAUCOMA?

The actual cause of Glaucoma is unknown but the Risk Factors are listed below:

  • Age – The older you are the more likely it is you will develop Glaucoma. 

  • Ethnicity – There is a higher risk of developing Glaucoma depending on your ethnicity. You are more likely to develop chronic open-angle Glaucoma if you are African or you are of Afro-Caribbean descent, while those of Asian descent are more likely to get acute angle-closure Glaucoma.

  • Short-sightedness 

  • Ocular Hypertension

  • Family History

  • Other Medical Conditions- e.g. Diabetes 

 

HOW IS GLAUCOMA DIAGNOSED?

Glaucoma can take a while to notice as the condition normally affects the outer eye before moving inwards, meaning you may not realise your eyes have a problem until your vision is affected.

EYE EXAMINATION

Our optometrists may use a variety of tests to screen for Glaucoma:

  • Eye Pressure Test

  • Measuring Central Corneal Thickness 

  • Gonioscopy

  • Visual Field Test

  • Optic Nerve Assessment using an OCT

If the optometrist believes you have Glaucoma they will refer you to an ophthalmologist – they can confirm the cause of the Glaucoma, how far it has developed, and the effect it has had on your eyes before suggesting treatment.

TREATMENT

Glaucoma can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight, making it important to diagnose and treat the condition early. The treatment normally aims to decrease intraocular pressure in the affected eye, but different types of Glaucoma can require different treatment methods.

CHRONIC OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA

  • Eye Drops

  • Laser Treatment

  • Surgery

 

ACUTE AND CHRONIC ANGLE CLOSURE GLAUCOMA

Acute angle closure Glaucoma can develop very quickly, therefore it should be treated immediately using one of the following methods:

  • Systemic Medicines

  • Laser Iridotomy 

  • Eye Drops

  • Trabeculectomy Surgery

  • Cataract Surgery – Cataract surgery may be used as removing cataracts can widen the angle in your eye, therefore reducing intra-ocular pressure. 

GLAUCOMA

FIND US

THE OPTICAL CO.

3 HIGH STREET

COBHAM

KT11 3DH​

01932 867565