22 March 2022
Glaucoma In The Spotlight
Our Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr Keti Pachkoria has put together the following information about glaucoma, known as the silent thief of sight, to help you protect your sight.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable, irreversible blindness and is the second most common cause of blindness globally. Glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages. In fact, half the people with glaucoma do not know they have it. Hence, early detection and management of glaucoma can save sight.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain and carries information allowing you to see clearly. You may not notice the early signs of optic nerve damage until most of your optic nerve fibers have died.
What is it like to see through the eyes of someone with glaucoma? Living with glaucoma can be challenging, imagine for a moment noticing blind spots, missing peripheral vision, and living with “tunnel vision”.
I have been diagnosed with glaucoma; should I inform my family? Are they at risk for glaucoma?
Yes, if you are diagnosed with glaucoma then your first-degree relatives (brothers, sisters, sons, daughters) have a 1 in 4 chance of developing glaucoma in their lifetime. That risk DOUBLES if you have advanced glaucoma.
Who is at higher risk of developing glaucoma?
Many risk factors have been identified:
- Genetics – those with a family history are more likely to develop the disease.
- Age – people over the age of
- Race – African, Hispanic or Asian people are more likely to develop the
- Underlying eye conditions – ocular hypertension, myopia, hyperopia, thin cornea, eye injury, etc. may increase risk of developing glaucoma.
- Medical Conditions – diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease may increase the risk of developing the
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
Glaucoma is diagnosed using a comprehensive eye exam that tests your eye pressure, your eye’s drainage system, the thickness of the window of your eye (cornea), your optic nerve and your peripheral vision.
How is glaucoma treated?
The aim of glaucoma treatment is to reduce intraocular pressure and to identify the risks (e.g. a cataract) which could increase the risk of narrow angle glaucoma.
Depending on the type, severity, and the rate of deterioration of glaucoma, your consultant ophthalmologist might advise on single or combined options:
- Medical glaucoma treatment
- Laser glaucoma treatment
- Surgical glaucoma treatment
Do glaucoma patients require regular testing?
Yes, checking your glaucoma will allow your consultant ophthalmologist to measure how fast your glaucoma is progressing and determine the best management plan for you.
How does existing glaucoma treatment help?
Glaucoma treatment aims to stop and/or delay the potential damage to the optic nerve head and damage to the visual field. Unfortunately, treatment for glaucoma cannot restore optic nerve fibres or the visual field that you have already lost. The sooner you get treatment, the better.”
Keti Pachkoria is our Consultant Ophthalmologist. She specialised in ophthalmic surgery in Spain and completed advanced training in Cataract surgery, Medical Retina and Glaucoma Treatment at world renowned Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in the UK. She has extensive experience in cataract and eyelid surgery, retinal treatments as well as general ophthalmology and emergency eye care. Her passion and motivation as an ophthalmologist are providing up-to-date treatment for patients. Please contact us to make an appointment with Keti.