The most common form of glaucoma (called open-angle glaucoma) is due to pressure build up inside the eye which can result in vision loss and blindness. When liquid drains too slowly from within the eye, the pressure is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage.
Glaucoma is asymptomatic without any pain or loss of vision and can occur in one or both eyes. However, as the condition progresses and if left untreated, there is a slow loss of peripheral vision eventually leading to tunnel vision and loss of sight.
Our specialists conduct a variety of tests to diagnose glaucoma, which may include:
- Visual acuity test. Use of eye chart test to measure distance sight.
- Visual field assessment. Measurement of peripheral vision.
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Assessment of the optic nerves, the retinal nerve fiber layer and the retinal ganglion cell thickness
- Fundus Photography. To photographically record and assess the appearance of the retina and optic nerve.
- Tonometry. Measurement of internal eye pressure using a tonometer.
- Eye Examination. which may include slit lamp biomicroscopy, gonioscopy and direct observation of the optic nerve and retina.
- Pachymetry. Measurement of corneal thickness using ultrasound.
Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to halt progressive damage due to glaucoma. Treatment can prevent further damage to existing vision but it cannot restore or improve any sight that has already been lost.
- Medication. Eye drops may be prescribed for treatment of glaucoma. There are many options available and they all work by decreasing the pressure within the eye.
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). This laser procedure helps fluid drain out of the eye and is now considered an alternative to eye drops as a first line of treatment, or SLT may be used in combination with eye drops, for those whom eye drops alone fail to control the glaucoma.
- Incisional Glaucoma Sugery. Glaucoma Surgery is recommended when medication and laser treatments are no longer effective. This surgery creates a new opening for the fluid to leave the eye thus lowering the internal eye pressure.