Detecting and treating glaucoma

Glaucoma affects over 300,000 people in Australia and early detection is your best chance of saving your eyesight. Yet many people who may be at risk refuse to have the test or even know what exactly is glaucoma.

How is glaucoma detected?
Regular eye examinations are the best way to detect glaucoma early.

A glaucoma test usually includes the following:

  • optic nerve check with an ophthalmoscope
  • eye pressure check (tonometry)
  • visual field assessment if needed – this tests the sensitivity of the side vision, where strikes first

Detecting and treating glaucoma

Can glaucoma be treated?
Although there is no cure for glaucoma it can usually be controlled and further loss of sight either prevented or at least slowed-down.

Treatments include:

  • Eyedrops – these are the most common form of treatment and must be used regularly.  In some cases pills are prescribed. The drops can be varied to best suit the patient and the type of glaucoma.
  • Laser (laser trabeculoplasty) – this is performed when eye drops do not stop deterioration in the field of vision. In many cases eye drops will need to be continued after laser. Laser does not require a hospital stay.
  • Surgery (trabeculectomy) – this is performed usually after eye drops and laser have failed to control the eye pressure. A new channel for the fluid to leave the eye is created.

Treatment can save remaining vision but it does not improve eyesight.

This article was reproduce with the kind permission of Glaucoma Australia