Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension
GLAUCOMA AND OCULAR HYPERTENSION
Glaucoma is a term that describes a group of eye conditions that affect vision. Glaucoma often affects both eyes, usually in varying degrees. One eye may develop glaucoma quicker than the other. Usually, glaucoma results in damage to the optic nerve followed by a visual loss if untreated.
Glaucoma affects 2% of the population in the UK but, 50% of those suffering glaucoma may remain undetected due to the silent nature of the condition.
Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes (trabecular meshwork) within the eye become slightly blocked. This prevents eye fluid (aqueous humour) from draining properly.
When the fluid cannot drain properly, pressure builds up. This is called intraocular pressure. This can damage the optic nerve (which connects the eye to the brain) and the nerve fibres from the retina (the light-sensitive nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye).
Attending regular optician appointments will help to ensure any signs of glaucoma can be detected early and allow treatment to begin.
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions that cause optic nerve damage and can affect your vision. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves your eye.
Ocular hypertension (OHT) is different to glaucoma. It is essence means high eye pressure and has no real significance. With OHT there is no damage to the optic nerve therefore there is no vision loss.
In 2009, The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) released guidelines on the management of ocular hypertension and Glaucoma. These were updated in 2017 under guidelines NG 81.
The benchmark now used to monitor or decide on treatment for OHT or suspected Glaucoma is outlined in the table below. Do not be surprised that after many years of treatment or monitoring, that a doctor will ask you to stop treatment and potentially reassess based on the table below.
The table below shows treatment parameters used for OHT and suspect glaucoma:
|CCT||More than 590 micrometres||555-590 micrometres||Less than 555 micrometres||Any|
|Untreated IOP (mmHG)||> 21 TO 25||> 25 TO 32||> 21 TO 25||> 25 TO 32||> 21 TO 25||> 25 TO 32||> 32|
|Age (years)||Any||Any||Any||Treat until 60||Treat until 65||Treat until 80||Any|
|Treatment||No treatment||No treatment||No treatment||BB||PGA||PGA||PGA|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is glaucoma?
How do we investigate glaucoma?
- A visual acuity test.
- A measure of the thickness of your cornea, called a pachymetry.