Glaucoma - The importance of monitoring and treating the eye

Leonie Millard
Leonie Millard

Published: May 9th, 2022

7 min read

The importance of monitoring and treating the eye for the presence and progression of glaucoma has been highlighted in a BBC article.

In this case an 80-year-old woman lost her sight in one eye after regular hospital eye clinics were cancelled due to the pandemic.

In 2019 she reports being seen on three occasions. She did not have another appointment until December 2021, only after she was unable see in one eye. Regular appointments allow a pattern to be spotted and treated.

We don't know the background to the story, but it appears Mrs Harris was under the care of the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. She is in the correct demographic for glaucoma , It being more common in older people. She suffers a "thumping pain in the back of her eyes because of the pressure. "

Raised high-pressure damages the delicate nerve fibres of the optic nerves in the back of the eye causing headaches and blindness.

How is glaucoma assessed and identified?

It is relatively straightforward. It is usually picked up at a routine eye test. Family history of glaucoma may be an indicator and further tests are then provided to diagnose and monitor the condition.

There are several simple methods to measure pressure inside your eye and the extent of any damage caused to peripheral vision or the optic nerve.

Mrs Harris was under the care of the hospital so I have assumed that the condition had been recognised and the referral was to consider ;

  1. How far the condition has developed ;
  2. The extent of damage caused;
  3. The cause of the glaucoma.

The next step would then be to monitor and treat it accordingly with eyedrops, laser treatment or in some cases surgery.

Prevention is the aim as there is no cure once the damage is done. The methods of treatment vary depending on the stage reached.

Generally , the earlier the detection the less chance of blindness.

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