Taking Charge of Your Health

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nervehead,
which very often but not always goes along with high intraocular pressures. The most
common form of glaucoma is the so called primary chronic open-angle glaucoma and the older
you get the more likely it is that you might get this type of glaucoma. However, overall
only approximately 3% of the population suffer from glaucoma but the danger is, because there
are no symptoms at all, that patients are not even aware that they have glaucoma. Once
you as a patient and I as an eye surgeon agree that treatment for glaucoma should begin in
order to prevent optic nervehead damage and field effects in the future, there are various
options. The most common option is prescribing eye drops which have to be taken once or twice
a day. A lot of my patients are perfectly happy taking these drops. We have a wide range
of different eye drops available to suit every patient. To patients who are unable
to use eye drops for whatever reason, I’m able to offer laser treatment: the so-called
selective laser trabeculoplasty with the SLT laser; which has in most cases a similar effect
compared to eyedrops except that you don’t have to use the eye drops. Initially, it is
a one-off treatment but it will probably have to be repeated after a few years once the
effect wears off. Once neither drops nor laser gets us a satisfactory drop in the intraocular
pressures, we would then consider micro incision glaucoma surgery or even trabeculectomy surgery
which I would always consider the very last resort. In all cases of glaucoma, every patient’s
treatment should be geared individually. History, family history of the eye disease, any medication
the patient is on, the structure of the eyeball, the stage of the optic nervehead changes all
play a role in choosing the right treatment which has the potential to slow down or even
stop the disease and to interfere the least with the patient’s lifestyle.

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