What Is Glaucoma?
Mr Glenn Carp – “Glaucoma is a condition whereby the nerve at the back of the eye, the nerve that carries information from the retina to the brain, is damaged, but it is damaged in a specific pattern. What one sees is that the peripheral vision is affected, so that people develop over time a constriction of the visual field and end up having what we know as tunnelisation. The single biggest risk factor for this condition is raised pressure inside the eye. This is something that can be screened for by your local optician and should probably be done on an annual or biannual basis throughout one’s lifetime.”
Glaucoma Explained Further…
Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that can lead to permanent damage to the optic nerve and thus permanent blindness. It often starts with unnoticeable blind spots, then tunnel vision, and finally complete loss of sight. There is a relationship between diabetes and open-angle glaucoma (the most common type of glaucoma), and whilst ophthalmologists do not fully understand the mechanism, all diabetics should be aware of the condition and the risks that it brings.
Ophthalmologists originally believed that pressure within the eye, intraocular pressure or IOP, was the sole cause of the optic nerve damage that causes the disease. Whist intraocular pressure is certainly a primary reason; experts now realise that many other factors influence the condition as people with ‘normal’ levels of pressure can experience vision loss through the disease.
The early detection of glaucoma is vital if a surgeon is to treat the condition successfully and most opticians now carry out tests as a matter of course. However there is no cure and whist medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss the appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma.
Whilst London Vision Clinic will readily offer advice and guidance about glaucoma, and screens all patients for symptoms, surgery is only an option of last resort, but we do not offer it.
If you have any suspicion that you may be experiencing the symptoms, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.