Having a high eye pressure (also called intraocular pressure or IOP) is one of the main risk factors for the most common type of glaucoma – Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG). An eye pressure of above 21 mmHg is generally considered to be above the normal (the normal range is 10 to 21 mmHg). If you have a high eye pressure and changes to your optic nerve (the nerve that connects your eye to the part of the brain responsible for vision) and corresponding loss of your side vision (termed peripheral vision) you will likely be diagnosed with POAG.
The goal of therapy is stop patients from being affected by vision loss due to the glaucoma. Unfortunately most people with glaucoma are unaware they have it as it starts by affecting the side vision and then gradually works it’s way inwards to affect central vision. Our aim is to prevent this from happening and the only way this can be achieved is by lowering a patient’s eye pressure, using the safest way possible.
For many people driving is an essential part of their daily life and not being able to drive can have a significant affect on their quality of life. When it comes to deciding whether a person has satisfactory vision for driving there are two aspects to consider. The first is central vision, which is the vision you use for looking at objects straight ahead. The second is your peripheral or side vision that you use to see objects in your wider field of view. Continue reading
The simple answer to this question is yes – anyone can develop glaucoma. However there are certain risk factors that you may have which increase your risk of developing this disease. It is important to know if you do have these risk factors so that you can be more closely monitored. Unfortunately for the most part glaucoma does not have any symptoms until it is often too late – so regular monitoring by an optometrist or eye specialist is the only way the disease can be diagnosed early and vision loss prevented. We estimate that nearly half of all people with glaucoma in New Zealand are still to be diagnosed. Continue reading
Once a patient is diagnosed with glaucoma the most common treatment is with medication in the form of an eye drop. There are several different eye drops available to treat glaucoma but they all aim to lower the eye pressure (intraocular pressure) back to a more normal level. Sometimes more than one kind of eye drop is needed to treat glaucoma. Although eye drops are very effective there can be problems with there use. These include side effects, difficulty putting in the eye drops and remembering to use them regularly. Continue reading