Glaucoma is one of the commonest cause of blindness worldwide. In the early stages of the disease, there are no symptoms. Visual loss occurs in the late stages of the disease. Early detection and early treatment of glaucoma will prevent blindness.
As glaucoma does not cause symptoms in the early stages, it is important to undergo regular eye checks. Optometrists routinely look for the presence of glaucoma. It is important to visit your optometrist on a regular basis, to ensure that glaucoma is not developing.
Following referral for glaucoma assessment, a complete Ophthalmic examination will be performed. This will be supplemented with additional investigations: corneal pachymetry, anterior segment OCT, visual field test and optic nerve imaging and analysis with Heidelberg Spectralis.
Management of glaucoma will depend on the type of glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma is treated initially with drops. Narrow angles will require opening of the angle with laser or surgery.
The basis of glaucoma treatment is to reduce the pressure in the eye. Treatment takes three forms:
The initial treatment is drops. Drops will control the disease in the majority of patients. Regular check-ups are necessary. These check-ups ascertain if the glaucoma is stable or if the disease is progressing. If the glaucoma progresses, additional treatment is indicated. This may mean extra drops. If additional drops fail to halt the progress of the glaucoma, laser trabeculoplasty or surgery may be indicated.
Laser trabeculoplasty is effective in the majority of patients in lowering the intraocular pressure. It may need to be repeated. The effectiveness may reduce over time: typically 5 - 8 years.
Glaucoma surgery is needed only in a very small number of patients. Cataract surgery may also be considered, depending on the vision and other eye conditions.
Your consultant will discuss the most suitable management options for you.
How much does it cost?
Treatment for glaucoma varies depending on the treatment required and cannot be confirmed until you have had your initial consultation.
If you have medical insurance, you may be covered for payment of this procedure. Please check with your insurer to confirm. If you are paying for treatment yourself, we have interest free finance - 0% representative APR available. Download our information flyer or contact the friendly eye centre team for more details.
Will I need a referral from my GP or Optician?
You need to be referred by your GP or optician before you book a consultation.
What to do next
Contact the eye centre team to book a consultation with one of our consultant ophthalmic surgeons who will aim to provide you with all the information you need before you embark on your treatment, including choice of procedures, what they involve and the associated risks and benefits. You should allow an hour for your consultation. The guide price for a consultation ranges from £200 to £250.