Subtle damage of Glaucoma
August has been the Eye Health and Safety month. So we are all aware of the importance to raise people’s awareness about glaucoma. It’s an eye disease most associated with raised pressure in the eye. That is not always the case. It has many associated factors and causes. If the eye pressure is too high, the nerve fibres at the optic nerve will die. It will lead to loss of your peripheral, or side, or lateral vision. This loss of vision is slow and subtle, without any eye pain. The patient is not aware that they have a serious condition called glaucoma. This is called primary open-angle glaucoma. A routine eye health exam is essential, especially as the individual ages.
The eye examination is done by the specialist ophthalmologist. It uses some tests to determine the patient’s eye health and see whether they have glaucoma. We use OCT, or optical coherence tomography, and also pachymetry. Pachymetry is corneal thickness, as well as intra-ocular pressure using the Golmann tonometer. That is called GAT for Goldmann Applanation Tonometry. We also have a non-dilation retinal camera, called the Optos Californian. This camera looks through the pupil, even if it is only 2 mm in size. Looking through the pupil shows us the optic disc in beautiful colour, plus the whole of the blood vessels around the macula and the retina. We can see the state of the retina. We use this technology to help determine, document and follow your eye health.
If you have glaucoma, it may be necessary to have a laser procedure called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). This can be done by Laura Crawley. This surgey can be done either before starting glaucoma drops or after starting a glaucoma treatment. This laser also can be used to treat secondary membranes following cataract surgery. This part of the treatment armamentarium is offered by surgeons, Jaheed Khan and Laura Crawley, at Clinica London. They will examine your eyes, and do the necessary tests to help detect early changes and subtle signs of eye damage.
Detecting subtle changes by regular eye examination is essential. This is especially true if there is a family history of glaucoma in your family.