Glaucoma

Glaucoma can cause loss of peripheral vision and blurred vision.

Glaucoma is a very general term for a group of conditions that affect the optic nerve at the back of your eye. Broadly, there are 2 general types of glaucoma; primary open angle glaucoma and primary angle closure glaucoma. Whilst they are both under the general banner of glaucoma they have very different mechanisms. As a general rule, this damage to the optic nerve results from high pressures inside the eye. In the same way that high blood pressure damages your cardiovascular system, high eye pressures damage your optic nerve. In the early stages this nerve damage may not affect your vision but as the condition progresses your peripheral vision will deteriorate (giving you tunnel vision) and eventually your central vision may be affected leading to severe visual loss and even blindness. Thankfully we have a huge number of highly successful treatments available to stop the optic nerve damage that occurs in this disease.  

Primary Open Angle Glaucoma

The eye has a pump that makes the clear fluid inside the eye and a drain that drains it away. They should work in a nice balanced way that keeps the pressure inside the eye at a normal level. In primary open angle glaucoma there is a mismatch between your pump and your drain. This mismatch causes the pressure in the eye to increase. Over time this raised pressure damages the optic nerve and will affect your vision.

There are numerous treatments for this type of glaucoma including laser therapy, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS), microstents, filtering surgery and eyedrops.

Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma

The eye has a pump that makes the clear fluid inside the eye and a drain that drains it away. There is a pathway that this fluid must pass along for the process to remain in balance.
In primary angle closure glaucoma this pathway becomes blocked meaning that the pump still makes fluid but it can’t get t the drain. This can lead to a very aggressive and rapidly blinding condition called primary angle closure crisis or acute angle closure.

Thankfully there are excellent treatments available for this devastating condition. Laser treatment called a laser peripheral iridotomy and lens extraction and replacement surgery can be extremely effective at controlling and even curing the condition. It is rare to need eyedrops for this type of glaucoma.

Other rarer types of glaucoma include neovascular, pseudoexfoliation, inflammatory, secondary angel closure and normal tension.

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