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Glaucoma treatment

Find out how glaucoma can be treated, along with the risks and the benefits

Glaucoma is a condition where damage occurs on the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain. Often this is caused by a build-up of fluid, which creates and increase in eye pressure.   

Glaucoma is a common condition, which can be serious and lead to blindness if it is not treated early. People of all ages can be diagnosed with glaucoma, but it is most often experienced by older people.    

There are several different kinds of glaucoma. Primary open angle glaucoma is the most common and occurs when fluids in the eye build up because the drainage channels become blocked over time. Acute angle closure glaucoma happens when these channels become blocked quickly.   

Secondary glaucoma is usually caused by another eye condition, and childhood glaucoma or congenital occurs in children, although it is very rare.   

We can arrange a private clinical appointment for you to visit a leading Consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in glaucoma. They can assess your condition, diagnose your type of glaucoma and give advice on the procedures that would be most appropriate for you.    

Glaucoma can be slow to develop, and the signs of glaucoma may not be immediately obvious until the condition has progressed. It is often discovered during a routine eye test. You might experience blurry vision, coloured rings around bright lights or issues with your peripheral vision.    

In rare cases symptoms can come on quickly, causing intense eye and head pain, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible in these cases.

There are several glaucoma treatments, including glaucoma medications, laser therapy and operations. Your doctor will discuss the different options for treating glaucoma with you and help you to find the best solution that works for you.

Eye drops

Eye drops are often recommended as a first treatment to reduce the high eye pressure. However, if they do not work, then surgery or SLT will be recommended.

Eye injections for glaucoma

Your doctor can administer medicine for glaucoma into your eye using a syringe. This is a quick and easy way treatment and often can improve your symptoms. If it is not effective, surgery or SLT will be suggested.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Laser energy is applied to the drainage tissue in the eye, enabling fluid to drain out better. A “cold laser” is used, meaning that its energy only affects certain tissues. This means that it causes minimal pain and scarring.

This laser treatment is often successful in reducing pressure in the eye, but its results can reduce over time, meaning that the treatment often needs to be repeated after a few years.

Glaucoma (trabeculectomy) surgery

Glaucoma surgery, also known as a trabeculectomy, involves draining some of the fluid in your eye out to lower the pressure. Your surgeon will make a small draining hole in the lining of the white of your eye. The fluid will drain out into a space in the outer lining of your eye and collect just under your eyelid.

The operation usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour. You should be able to go home a few hours after the operation. However, your doctor may recommend that you stay in hospital overnight.

iStent Inject

The iStent Inject device is in fact two small – very small, they're the smallest things currently implanted into the human body and one fifth the size of a grain of rice – stents which are added to the eye. A stent is a small method of holding open tissue to allow the passage of liquid through it. The stents are inserted into in the same area as the eyes' natural drainage system.

The iStent Inject stents are made of titanium and work by creating and holding open very small extra holes in that natural drainage system of the eye. The extra and unwanted pressure inside the eye – which may lead to glaucoma – is drained through the eye's natural pathway.

Glaucoma will not improve on its own and can cause blindness if it is not treated. The risks of glaucoma treatment should be weighed up against the risks of no treatment. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your condition.

Invasive glaucoma treatment is more likely to cause side effects and problems than less invasive treatments. Risks of surgery and laser therapy include:

  • Loss of sight;
  • Bleeding;
  • Issues with eye pressure;
  • Infection and
  • Formation of cataracts.

Our 500 trusted eyecare experts offer personalised care at over 40 BMI Healthcare centres across the UK.    

Our experts in affordable eye care offer fast access to treatment in a safe and comfortable environment.
   
Your bespoke glaucoma treatment will provide the best possible outcome, along with excellent value for money, to help improve your quality of life.

What you pay will depend on the exact treatment you need. Your final price will be confirmed in writing following your consultation. 

Specialists offering Glaucoma treatment

Mr Bertie Fernando

Oculoplastic and Ophthalmic Surgeon

MBBS DO MRCS (Edinburgh) FRCO

BMI The Highfield Hospital 1 more BMI The Beardwood Hospital

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Mr Mamun Rahman

Consultant Ophthalmologist

MBCHb (Edin) FRCOphth (Lon) FRCS (Glasg)

BMI Ross Hall Hospital

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Mr Deva Loganathan

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MBBS, MD, FRCS, FRCOphth, FRCSEd

BMI Southend Private Hospital

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