Glaucoma

Glaucoma is when the optic nerve is damaged where it leaves the eye. When fluid which is produced by the eye cannot drain away properly, the pressure in the eye is increased. This can damage the optic nerve. There are various different types of glaucoma. Two of the most common are trabeculectomy (chronic) and deep sclerectomy (acute).

We run special glaucoma clinics

Chronic glaucoma

This is the most common form of glaucoma. The drainage channels become blocked over many years causing the eye pressure to rise very slowly. There is no pain to show there is a problem but vision will gradually deteriorate.

Treatment usually begins with eye drops which can reduce the amount of fluid produced in the eye or by opening up the drainage channels so that excess liquid can drain away.

If there is still a problem the next step is laser treatment or an operation to improve the drainage of fluids from the eye.

Acute glaucoma

This is less common and occurs when there is a sudden, more complete blockage to the draining of fluid from the eye. This can be quite painful and will cause permanent damage to sight if it is not treated properly.

Hospital treatment is needed straight away to reduce the pressure in the eye. Drugs will reduce the eye's production of fluid and help its drainage.

If treated early, an acute attack can be brought under control in a few hours and sight will start to return. Laser treatment or a small operation will relieve the obstruction allowing the fluid to drain away.

Patients are usually advised to have the same treatment on their other eye as the risk of it developing the same problem is high.