Glaucoma – 青光眼

 

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease which damages the optic nerve. Untreated, Glaucoma can slowly and painlessly take away vision causing blindness.

What causes glaucoma?

There is no single cause of glaucoma, but risk factors for glaucoma include a high pressure, a family history, history of migraine and a variety of general medical conditions.

What a typical symptoms of glaucoma?

Most glaucoma is chronic open angle glaucoma. In the early stages there are generally no symptoms, and so it is important to be checked regularly for glaucoma. Untreated, it can slowly and painlessly take away the vision causing blindness.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

There is no single test for glaucoma. It is important that a general medical history is taken and then a comprehensive eye examination, which includes checking the pressure, examining the front part of the eye for signs of glaucoma and looking carefully at the optic nerve. Photographs may be taken of the optic nerves for future reference. Depending on the appearance of the optic nerve, a visual field test (this tests the function of the optic nerve) may be done and scans may be taken of the optic nerve fibre layer (this tests the structure of the optic nerve). Some patients are told that they are ‘glaucoma suspects’ and are watched more closely on the basis of these findings.

How is glaucoma treated?

Treatment generally involves drops. There a number of different groups of medications available for glaucoma, and the decision about which drops to use will depend on many factors (including your general health). If the drops do not adequately control the glaucoma then a laser procedure may be used.

In rare cases, surgery is needed. Conventional glaucoma surgery has been associated with some risk, but a recent development called Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) is much safer. Usually this is done at the time of cataract surgery, but it can be done alone and can be very effective in lowering pressure.