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Understanding Glaucoma

The term Glaucoma is used to describe a set of eye conditions, which frequently lead to the fluid pressure within the eyes increasing. This in turn, affects the optic nerve and disturbs your peripheral vision.  In some cases, if not treated, this disease can even lead to the complete loss of vision.

The main type of this condition that is most common is called ‘open angle glaucoma’, also often referred to as ‘chronic glaucoma’. This occurs when the level of intraocular pressure inside the eye increases slowly and gradually, due to a blockage in the drainage of fluids between two major areas: the front of the iris and the back of the cornea. This can happen in one eye, but, most commonly, Glaucoma affects both eyes, usually in differing degrees.

The less common type is called ‘acute angle glaucoma’. This arises when the upsurge in intraocular pressure is sudden and forcible. The agony is often so severe, it may cause you to vomit, as the prevailing symptom of this is an extremely painful eye along with, of course, reduced vision.

Statistics show that in England and Wales, a staggering half a million people suffer from this condition, with those being over 40 years of age falling in to the high-risk group  being affected by Glaucoma.

Diagnosis of Chronic Glaucoma

 Early diagnosis of Glaucoma is vital, so it is extremely helpful that screening for this condition can be conducted by your local optician during your standard, routine eye examination. The methods carried out to check for this disease are pain free and take only minutes to undergo.

Specialist medical equipment is used in the procedures. A tonometer is used to measure intaocular pressure and an ophthalmoscope is used to examine the optic nerve head.

Treatment

Treatment is also available to control open angle glaucoma, which works by reducing intraocular pressure and preventing any further damage on the optic nerve.

Laser treatment can be used to amend  the filtration system inside the eye, this surgery usually does not even entail an overnight stay in hospital. Therapeutic eye drops are also key in most cases when treating, as these help thin and lower the production of aqueous fluids within the eye, enabling them to flow with less difficulty. A single eye drop can be used to treat or a combination of several, prescriptions altered to suit the needs of each individual patient. Low doses of these eye drops usually need to be taken even after laser treatment/surgery.

For further information on glaucoma, call Ellis Opticians on 0121 747 2115

Ellis Opticians is your local independent Opticians at 350 Bradford Rd., Castle Bromwich, Birmingham. B36 9AD Tel. 0121 747 2115

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