Glaucoma is an unfortunately insidious disease which is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Although, with appropriate treatment loss of vision can be completely avoided in most people.
Glaucoma is caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye which causes damage to the optic nerve and subsequent loss of vision, initially peripherally. Without treatment this eventually effects the central vision and causes blindness.
Modern glaucoma treatment is very successful and avoids significant loss of vision in most people. Many patients require only eye drops to reduce their eye pressure while severe cases may require a silicone tube to be implanted.
Recent technological developments in treatment have led to new surgical and laser techniques to treat patients without the need for eye drops. New nickel titanium stents, very similar to cardiac stents, can be used to simultaneously bypass and stent the internal drain to give an 80% chance people will get off their drops.
Glaucoma is a strongly inherited disease and anyone with first degree relatives with Glaucoma should have yearly screening for glaucoma with an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. Because your eye has no internal pressure senses glaucoma screening with a trained eye care specialist is essential.
More information can be found on the ‘Glaucoma Australia’ website, www.glaucoma.org.au
Dr Matthew Green is a Queensland trained Ophthalmologist who has recently completed subspecialty training in corneal, cataract and refractive surgery at the world famous Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. Along with Glaucoma Treatment he also specializes in the following services;
- Cataract surgery
- Pterygium surgery
- Corneal Transplant surgery
- Collagen Cross-Linking for Keratoconus