Glaucoma

GLAUCOMA – Eye Surgery Coffs Harbour

GLAUCOMA DAMAGES THE OPTIC NERVE

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.

It can be difficult sometimes to be sure if an eye has glaucoma.

HOW IS GLAUCOMA DIAGNOSED

You have had a very thorough examination of your eyes with

  • Measurements of the intraocular pressure (IOP) of both eyes
  • Dilated pupils to examine the optic nerves carefully
  • Visual field testing to test your peripheral vision

YOUR EYES ARE SUSPICIOUS OF VERY EARLY stages of GLAUCOMA

There are usually three reasons why an eye is suspicious of glaucoma

  • Your IOPs are higher than normal
  • Your optic nerves look suspiciously similar to those of patients with glaucoma
  • Your visual field testing is not normal

REGULAR EYE CHECKS

Usually it becomes obvious with time if you have glaucoma. There is no need to worry because in most cases, glaucoma is a slow condition. 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 to lower your IOPs which is effective in preventing visual loss from glaucoma.

 

YOU ARE A GLAUCOMA SUSPECT – THIS MEANS YOU DO NOT HAVE CONFIRMED GLAUCOMA BUT YOU WILL NEED REGULAR EYE CHECKS.

 

GLAUCOMA DAMAGES THE OPTIC NERVE

Glaucoma is a common eye disease.

Glaucoma damages THE OPTIC NERVEin your eye. This large bundle of nerves carries light signals to your brain.

GLAUCOMA IS USUALLY SILENT

Many patients do not notice any worsening of their driving or reading vision, because glaucoma usually affects the peripheral vision before it affects the central vision.

How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

You have had a very thorough examination of your eyes with

  • Measurements of the intraocular pressure (IOP)
  • Dilated pupils to examine the optic nerves carefully
  • Visual field testing to test your peripheral vision
  • Measurements of the thickness of nerve fibres around your optic nerve (OCT)

How is Glaucoma Treated?

The only thing that makes a difference is lowering IOP

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

 

The cost of SLT at this clinic is bulkbilled. This will usually require two treatments per eye.

 

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.

 

You have GLAUCOMA which can blind you It cannot be cured, but if it is well-controlled, You will not go blind.

GLAUCOMA – Eye Surgery Coffs Harbour