A comprehensive guide to diagnosing, treating and preventing this common eye condition

Vik Sharma, specialist glaucoma consultant surgeon at London Ophthalmology Centre, shares what effective glaucoma treatments are available and explains the importance of booking regular eye exams.

Q: What is glaucoma?

A: Glaucoma is an eye condition that affects the optic nerve. High levels of pressure in the eye cause damage to the optic cable, disrupting signals to our brain and causing blind spots in your vision. It’s one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60, though glaucoma can occur at any age, even in children – it can be present from birth or develop in the first few years of their life.

Q: How can you tell if you have glaucoma?

A: Glaucoma often goes unnoticed – the vision loss it causes is so gradual, you may not spot it until the later stages. This is why it’s vital to attend regular eye exams, to help us diagnose ‘silent’ conditions like glaucoma early, treat it, and slow or prevent further vision loss. I recommend booking an eye exam at least once every two years.

We’ll conduct an extensive eye health check, assessing your vision thoroughly using the latest glaucoma detection technologies. We perform pressure tests (that offer more accurate results than air puff tests), capture 3D imaging on your optic nerve and eye’s drainage system, and measure the thickness of your cornea and ocular blood flow.

This allows us to pinpoint any abnormalities, detect and treat glaucoma earlier than ever, and assess the risk of you developing glaucoma in the future. We can then offer bespoke recommendations for treatment to improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.

Q: Can I do anything to help prevent glaucoma?

A: Get to know your family’s medical history; if glaucoma runs in your family, you may be at higher risk of developing the condition and will benefit from more frequent screening. Exercise regularly to help reduce intraocular pressure, and always wear adequate eye protection when using power tools to prevent severe injuries, that can also result in glaucoma.

Q: How can you treat glaucoma?

A: Though the damage caused by glaucoma can’t be reversed, effective treatment can help to slow or prevent vision loss. We can offer safe, painless laser treatments, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) or a combination of these.

Great British Life: SLT treatment can reduce the need to use daily eye drops to treat your glaucoma and reduce intraocular pressure.SLT treatment can reduce the need to use daily eye drops to treat your glaucoma and reduce intraocular pressure. (Image: Archant)

We offer Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), an advanced laser treatment, that leaves no scarring and is a quick and painless procedure that lowers ocular pressure. It’s a highly precise treatment that can be repeated throughout your lifetime and often prevents the need to rely on daily eye drops. This is usually the first course of treatment I recommend. Patients can return home within an hour of the procedure and go back to work straight away.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) is another treatment we offer. We can safely, painlessly and quickly fit micro tube shunts in the eye, that drain the ocular pressure, offering instant relief, improving your vision and quality of life. We perform all surgeries under local anaesthetic so you’re able to go home on the same day.

Our glaucoma specialist consultants will advise which procedure is best for you and will be with you every step of the way to offer support, guidance and reassurance.

Q: Why choose London OC?

A: We offer a consultant-only service and access to the latest innovative glaucoma diagnostic and treatment technology to find the best eye care solution for you. You can book your appointment at a date and time that suits you, and avoid long wait times.

We only have one pair of eyes, which is why it’s important to take the very best care of them. In 2020 we won Most Trusted Ophthalmology Clinic 2020, and since 2005 have helped thousands of happy and satisfied patients improve their vision.

If you have any concerns about glaucoma, get in touch – we can help you make sense of your diagnosis and put your mind at ease.

Visit londonoc.co.uk to book your eye exam today.

Call 020 7000 3193 or email reception@londonoc.co.uk.

Quote offer EYECAR and receive free return chauffeur car offer for glaucoma and cataract patients.