More than 250,000 Canadians have chronic open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma, though it is just one of several varieties of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a serious and frustrating disease because of its asymptomatic development. For most people, glaucoma will develop while they are totally unaware- it rarely presents obvious symptoms (such as pain or sudden vision loss). Instead, glaucoma chips away at your peripheral vision. By the time you notice something has changed, you may already have some level of tunnel vision.
Vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. The only effective way to manage glaucoma is to detect it early and embark upon a management program before glaucoma robs you of your vision.
Glaucoma is a serious disease that requires diligence in identifying and managing it. We are your partners, guiding you every step of the way from diagnosis to management. Request an appointment for a day/time that is convenient for you and we will get the process started.
More Information About Glaucoma Management
90% of glaucoma cases are of the open-angle variety. More than a quarter million Canadians live with chronic open-angle glaucoma. The most common versions of glaucoma in Canada are:
During a comprehensive eye exam we will determine the need for further, more advanced testing in the form of a glaucoma work-up.
Specific tests include standard visual acuity and visual field testing, dilating your eye to allow for full inspection and imaging of the eye, tonometry (to determine eye pressure), and using optical coherence tomography (OCT imaging) to image and measure the optical nerve.
First, it’s important to understand that the goal of treatment is to prevent further vision loss and preserve as much visual acuity as possible. It is not possible reverse vision already lost to glaucoma.
Glaucoma management usually centres around normalizing eye pressure. This is typically done via eye drops and oral medication, though surgical options are available as well.
Note: we have run into situations where a patient has discontinued their management program as prescribed due to a perceived lack of need. Successful management of glaucoma requires strict adherence to the treatment plan provided. If your eye drops or medication are causing uncomfortable side effects, see us prior to discontinuing use.
Eye drops manage glaucoma by reducing eye pressure, reducing how much fluid is produced in the eye, or both. Eye drops are a safe and effective way to manage glaucoma, though a small percentage of people experience side effects (such as stinging/burning eyes, redness, etc.).
Oral medications accomplish the same ends as eye drops, albeit using different means. Oral medication is often used alongside eye drops.
While taking oral medication it is important to be cognisant of how other medications may interact with it. When seeing doctors, ensure that you inform them of the medication you are taking for your glaucoma management.
Most variants of surgery offered to treat glaucoma centre around helping the eye relieve eye pressure by encouraging drainage. There are many different surgical variations. Once it is determined that surgery is your best option a referral will be made to a glaucoma surgeon.