Glaucoma management: lowering intraocular pressure (IOP)
Glaucoma is a group of conditions where the optic nerve in the eye becomes damaged over time. If undiagnosed it can lead to permanent blindness.
A person with glaucoma does not notice anything unusual in the early stages of the condition, as it affects the outside of the vision first. By the time the person notices a problem with their vision it is often too late. It is important that everyone has their eye pressures tested every two years and annually if there is a family history of glaucoma.
It is important that the condition is discovered early. Prompt treatment is very effective in preventing damage and blindness.
There are different types of glaucoma. The eye pressure may be high in a glaucoma patient but not always. The eye pressure is not related to blood pressure or stress. The only treatment for glaucoma is to lower the eye pressure even if it is within the normal range at diagnosis.
How much should we lower the IOP?
We aim to reduce the IOP by 20-30% initially. Research shows that reducing the IOP by 20% reduces glaucoma progression by 50%. Every glaucoma patient will have a personalised ‘target IOP’ set. This will depend on how high the IOP is at diagnosis.
How can the intraocular pressure (IOP) be lowered?
The IOP can be lowered with drops, laser or with surgery.
At Clinica London, Ms Crawley is very experienced in all these procedures. She has particular expertise in finding the right drop for patients who are sensitive to glaucoma drops.
She is a highly skilled glaucoma surgeon. She has a wealth of experience in performing cataract surgery in glaucoma patients. Especially in those who may benefit from glaucoma micro stents or laser treatment inside the eye during cataract surgery. This can lead to reduced reliance on glaucoma drops after the procedure.
More about Laura Crawley
Ms Laura Crawley is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Clinica London. Her special expertise is in treating glaucoma patients as well as patients with glaucoma and cataracts. She has a lot of experience in treating glaucoma and has published extensively in scientific journals and on medical education. She still does a lot of emergency operations at the emergency department at the Charing Cross and Western Eye Hospitals for the NHS. At Clinica London she is responsible for glaucoma patients and glaucoma patients with cataracts. She also sees patients with general eye problems.