Your expert guide to glaucoma

You may have had some tests for glaucoma, or you may have had a diagnosis for the condition, and your healthcare professional has recommended you to this website. In the following videos, leading experts in eye conditions explain what glaucoma is, what tests may be done for the condition, how it is treated, and tips for you on how to administer eye-drop medication for glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Professor Philip Bloom

Glaucoma Consultant, Western Eye Hospital, London

A build-up of pressure in the eye, or glaucoma, affects 700,000 people in the UK. Around 50% of them don’t realise they have it because there are no symptoms, but it still needs to be treated in order to avoid long-term visual problems. Phillip Bloom describes what glaucoma is and why it is important to have regular eye checks that can identify it, as well as treatments that can help to manage the condition.

Key words: optic nerve; open-angle glaucoma; angle-closure glaucoma; asymptomatic; peripheral vision; ocular hypertension; iris; pupil; cornea; trabecular meshwork; optometrist; visual field; tonometry.

Understanding glaucoma

Testing field of vision

Professor David Crabb

Optometry and Visual Science, City, University of London

As glaucoma affects how much you can see around you, tests are carried out using a large instrument, to measure the width of your field of vision. This is known as a visual field test, and it can give an idea of the extent of your glaucoma. David Crabb explains why a visual field test is useful, and assures you not to be daunted by this machine that just looks like a large television. He believes that discussing the test with your physician during your consultation is of benefit to you during the process.

Key words: retina; central vision; peripheral vision; visual field test

Eye pressure measurement

Miss Fiona Spencer

Glaucoma Consultant, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester

You may have been told you have high pressure inside your eye because of your glaucoma. However, not everyone who has high pressure necessarily has glaucoma, and not everyone who has glaucoma develops high pressure. Fiona Spencer discusses the different scenarios and the importance nevertheless, of monitoring pressure in the eye, the different ways it is done and how your involvement in the process can help you take control your situation.

Key words: applanation tonometer

The optic nerve and glaucoma

Doctor Andrew Tatham

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh

This cable that connects the eye to the brain, the optical nerve, is central to the health of your eye, and when you have glaucoma it can become damaged. It is therefore important to have this looked at, usually photographed so that any changes can be noted. Andrew Tatham summarises the different options for the physicians use in attaining a picture of the optic nerve, be it with a slit lamp test or with optical coherence tomography – and gives tips on what to expect from the examination, while stressing that this is an effortless test which is by no means unpleasant for patients.

Key words: slit-lamp test; optometrist; visual field test; peripheral vision; central vision; glaucoma suspect; optical coherence tomography

Eye drop administration

Mr Subhash Suthar

Development Manager, International Glaucoma Association, Ashford

Key in the management of your glaucoma is the use of eyedrops to reduce intraocular pressure. Subhash Suthar highlights the importance of using eyedrops regularly, and how having a good understanding of glaucoma makes a difference to how much you follow your prescribed treatment. You can also find tips on the best way to develop a routine, and take your drops.

Affiliated organisations

Affiliated organisations

At Santen, we are committed to tackling vision loss and supporting people with eye-related conditions.

We have been dedicated to ophthalmology since 1890 and are fascinated by the science that helps us improve treatments for glaucoma, dry eye and other eye conditions.

We continue to support patients and the ophthalmology community, making people aware of the importance of regular eye tests and encouraging people to take charge of their own eye health.

The IGA is the charity for people with glaucoma. We provide information, literature, advice and fund essential research to prevent unnecessary loss of sight through early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

We also run campaigns to raise awareness of the need for regular eye health checks to detect the 300,000 estimated to be living with undetected glaucoma in the UK today.