Glaucoma is a common eye disease that damages the optic nerve of your eye. Glaucoma is slow and silent – patients do not notice any worsening of their driving or reading vision, because it usually affects the peripheral vision before it affects the central vision.
HOW IS GLAUCOMA DIAGNOSED
Using a combination of a clinical examination, visual field testing and OCT, we can diagnose glaucoma, even in its earliest stages, because it has damaged your vision.
REGULAR EYE CHECKS
Usually it becomes obvious with time if you have glaucoma. Your optometrist and I have a lot of experience in the diagnosis of glaucoma.
If you are eventually diagnosed with glaucoma, you will need treatment.
The only thing that makes a difference is lowering IOP which is effective in preventing visual loss from glaucoma.
Not everyone who has glaucoma has high IOP but the higher the IOP, the more likely it will continue to damage your eye.
Lowering IOP: Medications or laser (SLT)
Medications have to be used every day, for the rest of your life. They are effective but can sometimes have minor toxic effects on the eye surface. Like all medications, they work only if they are used!
What is SLT laser?
SLT stands for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty. It is a Medicare subsidized laser treatment whichcan improve IOP control without additional medications.
It is very safe, but doesn’t work in everyone.
The effect of SLT tends to wear-off over time.
For some patients, SLT has NO EFFECT at all.
I prefer to use SLT when
1) medications are not tolerated
2) medications aren’t sufficient to control IOP
3) you would prefer NOT to use medications
Glaucoma = LONG TERM CARE
Glaucoma cannot be cured. However, if glaucoma is well-controlled, you should NOT go blind from glaucoma.
What is SHARED CARE?
Patients with stable glaucoma need their IOP checked at least every 6 months.
Glaucoma check-ups can be done by your optometrist.
I can collaborate with your optometrist so you have fewer visits to see me.You can discuss with your optometrist if they would be happy to perform shared care of your glaucoma.