Glaucoma Eye Condition

Glaucoma is usually, but not always associated with raised pressure in the eye. As vision lost through glaucoma cannot be recovered, early diagnosis and treatment of the condition is important.

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma encompasses a group of conditions which cause progressive damage to the optic nerve which can lead to loss of vision. Glaucoma is usually, but not always associated with raised pressure in the eye. As vision lost through glaucoma cannot be recovered, early diagnosis and treatment of the condition is important. The eye requires a certain pressure to function normally and this is measured routinely in patients over the age of 40 years when you attend an Optician. Confusingly, raised pressure in the eye does not always lead to glaucoma, a condition called ocular hypertension exists where the pressure in the eye is above normal but no damage to the optic nerve follows, this condition may require monitoring only, or if the pressure rises above certain levels, treatment as for glaucoma. 

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is a registered charity to support people with glaucoma with information on the condition, how to donate, raise funds or become a member available by following this link here.

A comprehensive guide to glaucoma is available in this IGA booklet: Glaucoma: A Guide

What is Glaucoma Animation

What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

Glaucoma risk factors animation

There are a number of risk factors for glaucoma, these are:

About 2% of people over the age of 40 years rising to around 5% of people over 80 years.

People with a first degree relative affected by glaucoma (parent, sibling or child) are at increased risk of developing glaucoma. Free NHS sight tests are available for those over 40 years with an affected relative.

People with African-Caribbean heritage are at a higher risk of developing open angle glaucoma than people of European heritage, are more likely to be affected earlier in life and more likely to suffer more advanced disease.

Drugs such as corticosteroids particularly applied to the eye over the long term can cause raised pressure in the eye which can in turn lead to glaucomatous damage to the optic nerve.

People who are myopic or short-sighted are at increased risk of open angle glaucoma, people who are long-sighted or who have an eyeball with short axial length or crowded anterior chamber may be at risk from angle closure glaucoma.

People with low blood pressure relative to their eye pressure may be at increased risk as the perfusion pressure of the optic nerve may be to low. 

What are the types of glaucoma?

There are four main types of glaucoma:

  1. Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
  2. Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma
  3. Secondary Glaucomas
  4. Developmental Gluacoma

Primary open angle glaucoma

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most frequently occurring type in the UK and is often referred to as chronic glaucoma. Many affected people will not have symptoms because the condition is not painful and loss of vision typically occurs to the field of vision. As we have two eyes, loss of visual field in one eye may be masked by the presence of the same area of visual field in the other eye. This condition may be suspected by an Optician who will then refer for a medical opinion and further tests e.g. a field of vision test or an imaging test for the optic nerve e.g. 3D OCT

More detailed information on this condition is available in this IGA booklet: Primary Open Angle Glaucoma.

Primary open angle glaucoma animation

Primary angle closure glaucoma

Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is more frequently found in people of Asian origin and less frequently in people of European origin; it increases in frequency with age above 40 years and may develop slowly or it can occur suddenly in acute angle closure glaucoma. More detailed information on this condition is available in this IGA booklet: Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma.

Primary angle closure glaucoma animation

Secondary glaucomas

Secondary glaucoma occurs when an underlying eye or medical condition causes raised pressure in the eye that then results in glaucoma through damage to the optic nerve. Secondary glaucomas have a number of causes including secondary angle closure glaucoma, pseudoexfoliation, trauma and following surgery or use of certain medications. More detailed information on these conditions are available in this IGA booklet: Secondary Glaucomas.

Developmental glaucoma

Developmental glaucomas, also called congenital glaucoma occurs in babies and children. These are fortunately rare conditions that requires expert Paediatric specialist glaucoma care in centres of excellence.

What treatments are available for glaucoma?

The mainstay of treatment for glaucoma is the use of eyedrops. If you have been prescribed eyedrops it is important that you use them regularly as prescribed and in the correct way.

Primary angle closure glaucoma animation

Laser treatments for glaucoma

Laser treatments for glaucoma include YAG laser iridotomy (YAG PI) when acute angle closure glaucoma is suspected or has occurred and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) laser which is used to treat chronic or POAG.

Surgery for glaucoma

Surgery for glaucoma can be divided into three main types: Trabeculectomy and minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery.

Trabeculectomy

Trabeculectomy is an operation in which a one-way valve is created in the sclera or white part of the eye at the 12 o’clock position and covered with conjunctiva, the this mucous membrane that covers the sclera. The fluid within the eye has an additional draining pathway through this valve and this leads to the formation of a small bump or bleb hidden underneath the upper lid reducing the pressure.

Glaucoma Trabeculectomy Surgery Animation

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries or MIGS have been developed to improve the safety of glaucoma surgery. The term encompass a group of operations that use microscopic sized equipment or procedures designed to reduce the risks associated with conventional glaucoma surgeries but may be less effective at lowering intraocular pressure. MIGS procedures include the use of the XEN® Gel Stent, the iStent inject® and the PRESERFLO™ MicroShunt. 

Glaucoma Trabecular Stent Animation

Excellent 5-Star Reviews

Peter
Excellent result extremely satisfied
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I was extremely short sighted in my left eye minus 10.5 which with appropriate contact lens did still not give me good vision. I had several consultations with David Anderson as I was rather nervous of surgery due to a previous unfortunate experience with my right eye. David had not been involved with my right eye surgery. David was very reassuring and gave me confidence so I went ahead and had the surgery. Excellent result extremely satisfied. I would definitely recommend a consultation.
Juliet
Life Changing Surgery
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Yes cataract surgery is scary but David and his team were wonderful. David listened very carefully to what I wanted to achieve and patiently answered my detailed questions. He worked closely with my optician so that I could try contact lenses of different prescriptions to see which suited me best. In the end I had one eye adjusted for distance/normal vision and one eye for reading. My surgery was 2 months ago and everyone was kind and patient. It took time to get use to my new eyes but I now don't need glassed for the first time since I was 12 years old! I am completely use to my eyes now and don't notice that I have had anything done other than I don't wear glasses which is life changing! I would definitely recommend David and would like to say a BIG Thank You!
Dean
My optician referred me
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I am absolutely delighted with the total lens replacement surgery I had at Anderson Eye Care. From my first consultation with Mr. Anderson, through to surgery and aftercare, my experience was of the highest professional quality. The procedure itself was painless quick and very relaxed. I unreservedly would recommend Mr. David Anderson and his team at Anderson Eye care. I now have 20/20 vision, which speaks for itself!
Peter
Extremely impressive
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Extremely impressive professional experience from the initial consultation, to the surgery and post operative follow up. An absolute model in every respect for every health care professional to digest. The team atmosphere at Eastleigh Nuffield was brilliant from start to finish. Their team camaraderie is obvious and can’t be faked. My personal outcome is perfect. Many thanks to David and the Nuffield team.
Sharon
Very pleased with cataract procedures
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Mr Anderson has carried out cataract surgery on both of my eyes. I had my right eye done first. A year later, when it was time to have my left eye done, I only wanted Mr Anderson to carry out the procedure. On both occasions I discussed what I wanted the outcome to be, and Mr Anderson delivered exactly. The procedure was painless and quick. I am very pleased with the outcome. I found Mr Anderson and his staff very comfortable and reassuring to be around. I have no reservations in recommending Anderson Eye Care.
Merilyn
My optician referred me
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My optician referred me urgently to the Eye Hospital but it was going to be a wait of several months to be seen so I came to David Anderson privately. The initial consultation was reassuring and without pressure and I decided to go ahead with cataract surgery. It worked well having the eyes done a week apart and was an easy experience. I had a worry after the second one and was seen quickly and reassured about it. All is well now.
Gareth
I am now completely glasses free
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I was referred to Mr Anderson by my optician. I found him to be extremely personable and professional and was immediately reassured by his calm manner. He recommended refractive lens exchange, in both eyes. I was a little apprehensive pre op, but all the staff were reassuring, and the op itself was painless, and over very quickly. (probably around 15 minutes) I could see the results almost immediately. 4 weeks on and after 55 years of spectacle wearing the results are amazing. From a prescription of +9.5 I am now completely glasses free even for reading. Thank you
Customer
Happy 20/20 Vision!!!!
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I am absolutely delighted with the total lens replacement surgery I had at Anderson Eye Care. From my first consultation with Mr. Anderson, through to surgery and aftercare, my experience was of the highest professional quality. The procedure itself was painless quick and very relaxed. I unreservedly would recommend Mr. David Anderson and his team at Anderson Eye care. I now have 20/20 vision, which speaks for itself!
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