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Eye Test for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of common eye conditions that affects people of all ages, but is common in adults over 40 and most common after age 70. It is a condition that affects the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain. It is generally caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye, which increases pressure inside the eye and causes damage to the optic nerve.

“With some types of Glaucoma there are no symptoms, so regular eye examinations are essential.”

There are several types of glaucoma:

  • Primary open angle glaucoma is the most common form of the condition. It usually develops slowly over some years and is triggered when the drainage channels in the eye become clogged.

  • Secondary glaucoma is triggered by an operation, injury, medicine or an underlying eye condition like inflammation of the eye.

  • Childhood glaucoma, also known as congenital glaucoma, is caused by an abnormality of the eye. It is uncommon and generally occurs in very young children.

  • Acute angle closure glaucoma is an uncommon type of glaucoma caused by drainage channels in the eye becoming suddenly blocked. It can be painful and may cause permanent damage if not treated quickly.

What are the symptoms?

Open angle glaucoma does not normally cause any symptoms to begin with. 50% of people affected have no symptoms and are not even aware that they have it. Regular eye testing can pick up these early signs, so why not book an eye test with us to put your mind at ease. An advanced 3D OCT Scan helps to detect unwanted changes much earlier.

In the case of acute angle closure glaucoma, symptoms can come on quickly and may include:

  • Intense pain or redness in your eyes

  • Headaches

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Blurry vision or seeing rings around lights

If you have any of these symptoms seek an immediate eye test. If you do have glaucoma an early diagnosis followed by treatment can stop the condition from worsening or slow it down.

What are the causes or increases of developing glaucoma?

Glaucoma can develop or become more likely to occur for several reasons, including:

  • Age – you are more likely to develop glaucoma as you get older

  • Family medical history – if you have a parent or sibling with glaucoma, you will have a higher chance of developing it

  • Ethnicity – those with African, Caribbean or Asian heritage are more at risk

  • Other medical conditions, such as diabetes

It is not certain whether anything can be done to prevent glaucoma. But as most people have no symptoms, do keep in mind that going for regular eye tests will catch the condition in its early stages. You should go for a routine eye test at least every two years, even if you're not experiencing any problems with your eyes or vision.

A 3D OCT Scan can often detect the early stages of diagnosing Glaucoma. Complete eye examinations are important so the Optician can monitor you vision, diagnose and recommend treatment if necessary. We have easy Online Booking for appointments or call 020 8759 9395.

How do you test for glaucoma?

Your optometrist will perform a series of painless tests to check for glaucoma, including vision and measurements tests of the pressure inside your eye.

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, you should see a specialist eye doctor (ophthalmologist) to discuss treatment. An ophthalmologist can let you know how advanced the condition is and what may have caused it, as well as assessing any damage done to your eyes by glaucoma.

Specific tests to diagnose and monitor glaucoma include:

  • Eye pressure test where an instrument called a tonometer is used to measure the pressure inside your eye

  • Optic nerve assessment which eye drops will be used to enlarge pupils, then eyes are examined using either a slit lamp or an eye scan called optical coherence tomography

  • Visual field test which checks for missing areas of vision with a sequence of light spots

  • Gonioscopy which is an examination of the front part of your eye, or the fluid-filled space between the iris and cornea, where fluid should drain out of your eye

What is the treatment?

How glaucoma is managed can be quite complex due to the various treatment options available, which depends on the type you have. Some of your options might include:

  • Eye drops – helps treat most cases of glaucoma (primary open-angle glaucoma). There are several different types, but they all aim to reduce the pressure in your eyes.

  • Laser treatment – a type of surgery that uses a very tiny, high-energy beam of light to help improve the eye drainage inside. Often recommended if eye drops are not effective, or if people are unable to apply eye drops.

  • Trabeculectomy – this type of surgery is typically offered to people who do not respond to eye drops and are not suitable for laser treatment. It involves making a small hole in the tough outer wall of the eye (sclera), which is covered by a ‘trap-door’ of eye tissue under the eyelid and allows fluid to drain out and lower eye pressure.

More information and advice on glaucoma

Vision problems can arise in anyone, at any time – it doesn't matter how young or old you are, or how fit you are. Our goal is to help you get back to your normal life as quickly as possible. If you are ever worried about your eyes or your family’s eye health, feel free to come and talk to us about eye care.

Call 020 8759 9395 to make an appointment for an eye test. Alternatively, you can book online. Visit the macular society for full information and details of local support groups.

Find us at 742 Bath Road, Cranford, Hounslow, London, TW5 9TY. Street parking on The Avenue, High Street, Berkeley Avenue or Waye Avenue. Car parks at the Ibis Budget London Heathrow Central (TW5 9SX) and DoubleTree Hilton by Hilton London Heathrow Airport (TW5 9QE). Please check for parking conditions.

Ideally located near the Heathrow airport in the London Borough of Hounslow, Cranford Opticians can be easily reached from Twickenham, Feltham, Richmond , Teddington, Whitton, Hayes, Heston, Harlington, Southall, Staines, Ashford, Stanwell, Sunbury and many other areas in London and Surrey.

An emergency A&E eye service is available at The Western Eye Hospital, London (available 24hrs), Tel: 020 3312 6666. Typically, this is for eye injury, painful red eyes, sudden loss or distortion of vision, light flashes, eye floaters or sudden blurred vision etc, or go to a hospital that has an eye clinic​.

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