Glaucoma is the name given to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve resulting in vision loss. The loss of sight is usually gradual and may not be noticed until a
significant amount of peripheral vision is lost.
Firstly it is important to establish the diagnosis, identify the type of glaucoma and assess how slowly or rapidly the disease is progressing.
This will involve checking your vision, intraocular pressure (IOP) and assessment of the drainage angles of the eye. A structural analysis of the optic nerve head (Optical Coherence Tomography) and an assessment of optic nerve functioning (visual field analysis) will be performed at regular intervals. Each of these tests helps to assess how well your optic nerve is functioning and how much damage has occurred.
Although there is no cure for glaucoma it can usually be controlled so that further loss of sight can be prevented or slowed. Treatment for glaucoma consists of eye drops, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of the three. It is important that glaucoma is detected as early as possible. This allows us to start treatment with as little damage to the vision as possible. All current glaucoma treatments lower the eye pressure to a level where your glaucoma doesn’t progress.
SLT is a laser procedure used to treat glaucoma by lowering intraocular pressure by improving the outflow of fluid in the eye. Low energy light pulses are applied to the trabecular meshwork which is located around the edge of the iris to increase fluid outflow. Click here to learn more information from Glaucoma Australia.
Laser PI is a treatment used for those who have or are at risk of angle closure glaucoma. A small opening is created in the iris with a laser to lower eye pressure which can be caused by a blockage of fluid in the eye.
MIGS refers to a group of surgical treatments to lower intraocular pressure by surgically inserting a drainage device into the eye. This device works to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye. There are multiple devices available on the market and your surgeon will choose the most appopriate for you.
Trabeculectomy is a type of glaucoma surgery where a small opening is made in the white part of the eye to form an extra drainage channel. Click here to learn more information from Glaucoma Australia.
A tube-shunt drainage operation is another type of complex glaucoma surgery that is performed in difficult to control glaucoma where other types of surgery have failed or are likely to fail.