A fast-track treatment for individuals with glaucoma who also need cataract surgery is a game changer because it dramatically reduces the time that patients will spend in surgery and recovery. Thanks to medical advances, both conditions can now be treated in the same operation, meaning that the recovery time for patients is exactly the same as for a single cataract operation. Laura Crawley and her colleagues at the Western Eye Hospital at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust were one of the first teams in the UK to offer revolutionary laser therapy and micro-stent implants to glaucoma patients.
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Glaucoma in its commonest form is entirely asymptomatic and you cannot rely at all on noticing a change in vision or other eye symptoms to alert you to the possibility that you might have early disease. However, there are some important warning signs you should not ignore.
Many of the patients who were registered blind in 2016-2017 potentially could have avoided this devastating vision loss if an eye healthcare professional picked up their glaucoma earlier. Don't be among those who rely on at home tests only to have their glaucoma fail to be detected until it's too late.
Glaucoma, like diabetic retinopathy, has no symptoms in the early stages. The early stages are the golden opportunity to diagnose and treat the condition so that you never lose significant vision in your lifetime. Having a routine eye examination doesn’t hurt, is easy and doesn’t involve long waits for test results.
Please, ask what your maximum eye pressures are before you start treatment and keep all copies of your medical reports. It makes managing your eye conditions much easier and much safer.
In this post, I share a story about my most challenging case of 2017. I had a patient who had not seen an optician for 20 years and discovered he had glaucoma. It's a story that exemplifies the importance of having a strong, supportive network to around the patient that can help them make good decisions and help them cope with the initial adjustments after the operation.
Humphrey visual field testing is a critical test for diagnosing and managing glaucoma or other causes of damage to the optic nerve.
In the past, a cataract did have to be “ripe” before surgery could be undertaken, but modern cataract surgery can be done at any time, and the decision to go ahead with surgery should be based on how the cataract affects you in your day to day life.
Glaucoma drops are highly effective in reducing high eye pressure, but drops can cause eye redness, this can be a bad sign, but it could be easily addressed by prescribing preservative-free drops.