Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye.
This may be because the pressure is higher than normal, or because the nerve is more susceptible to damage from pressure. Glaucoma can affect one or both of your eyes.
Because you usually can’t feel the pressure building up, and the damage happens slowly, you may not know you have glaucoma until a lot of damage has been done. Optic nerve damage is irreversible, so it is particularly important that it is detected as early as possible. The best way to make sure of this is to have a regular eye examination.
If you would like to book an appointment to see one of our professional optometrists, Request here now.
If you have glaucoma or if a close member of your family has been diagnosed with glaucoma and you are over-40, you can avail of a FREE NHS eye examination every year.
If you have untreated glaucoma your eyesight will gradually deteriorate, and you could eventually go blind. The good news is that treatment with eye drops may stop it getting worse.
How is Glaucoma detected and monitored?
Our optometrist can carry out a selection of tests to help detect glaucoma:
- Ophthalmoscopy – we look inside your eyes to assess the health of your optic nerve. Retinal Photography allows us to digitally compare the health of your optic nerve from one eye examination to the next.
- Tonometry – we measure the pressure inside your eyes with an instrument which sends a small puff of air onto the surface of your eye or with an instrument which gently touches your eye after we numb it with drops, so you won’t feel anything. Both methods are pain-free.
- Visual Fields – we measure your peripheral vision to ensure you don’t have any abnormal blind spots. We’ve recently invested in a state of the art piece of equipment, making this test more reliable and user-friendly than ever before.
If our tests indicate that you have some of the signs of glaucoma, we’ll refer you to an Ophthalmologist for further investigation. If you’re diagnosed with glaucoma, you may be given eye drops to use every day to reduce the pressure in your eyes. As the drops won’t make you feel or see any different it is vitally important that you:
- Attend your follow-up appointments at the hospital.
- Always use your drops.
- Continue to have your regular eye examinations with us, at least once/year, so that we can monitor your condition. You can Request an appointment here.
- Make an appointment to see our optometrist as soon as possible if you notice any changes to your vision. Our Eyeplan Scheme is a great way of ensuring your on-going care as you NEVER pay separately for any appointments, no matter how often you feel the need, offering fantastic piece of mind!
Treating glaucoma with eye drops can be effective even though there is no cure. Any existing eye damage will probably be permanent, but your sight could get much worse quite quickly if you stop the treatment. It is very important that you use the eye drops every day, even if you cannot tell that they are helping. In a small number of cases, an ophthalmologist may recommend that you have an operation to help drain away the fluid.