Tackling Glaucoma: New Treatments to Prevent Vision Loss

Our Consultant Ophthalmologists are dedicated to providing the latest insights and developments in the fight against glaucoma. Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, but with advances in medical research, we are continually finding better ways to manage and treat it.

Understanding Glaucoma 

For good eye sight, we need three things, an eye, a brain and an optic nerve to connect the two. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. This damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults. The most common forms are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma, with open-angle being the more prevalent.

The Role of Eye Drops

For years, eye drops have been the frontline treatment for managing glaucoma. These drops work by either reducing the production of fluid within the eye or increasing its outflow, thereby lowering intraocular pressure (IOP). While effective, they often come with challenges such as side effects, adherence issues, and the need for multiple applications per day.

New innovations in Glaucoma treatment helps reduce the dependence on eye drops.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

MIGS procedures aim to improve fluid drainage from the eye with minimal trauma. Devices such as the iStent and the Hydrus Microstent are revolutionising glaucoma surgery by providing safer, less invasive options with quicker recovery times. These are often combined with cataract surgery combining the minimal risk of surgery with two effective treatments.

Laser Treatments

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT): SLT uses laser energy to target specific cells in the eye’s drainage system, improving outflow and lowering IOP. This treatment can be repeated and may reduce the need for eye drops. This treatment has been approved by the UK governing body – NICE (National Institute for clinical Excellence) as first line in all glaucoma sufferers.

Revolutionary Elios excimer laser is now being offered which can be combined with cataract surgery to again offer two effective treatments at the same time.

Managing Glaucoma Beyond Medication

While medication and surgeries are crucial, lifestyle changes and regular monitoring play significant roles in managing glaucoma:

Regular Eye Exams: Early detection through regular eye exams is critical. Ensure you follow your opticians recommendations for screening, especially if you’re at higher risk. At the Candover, we are happy to provide this screening for you, especially if you have risk factors like a family history or higher than normal IOP (pressure).

Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking can help manage overall health and potentially reduce glaucoma risk factors.

Adherence to Treatment: Sticking to prescribed treatments is vital. If you face challenges with eye drops or other therapies, discuss them with us here at the Candover, we can help you find the best solution.

Looking Ahead

The future of glaucoma treatment is promising, with ongoing research and development bringing new hope. From sustained-release medications to advanced surgical options, the landscape of glaucoma management is rapidly evolving.

Your vision is our priority. Let’s fight glaucoma together.

Information provided by Nish Srikantha, Consultant Ophthalmologist, MB BS, PhD, PGCertHE, FRCOPhth.

Call or email our enquiry team for more information on an appointment with a Consultant Ophthalmologist.

For more information or to book an appointment, please call 01256 315010 or email info.candover@hhft.nhs.uk