What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye diseases. The condition tends to occur more often in certain families, and this suggests that it has a partially genetic cause. We do not know, however, exactly how the disease is inherited. If you know that some of your relatives (parents or siblings) have glaucoma, or if there is a history of glaucoma in previous generations of your family, you are in the risk zone. The disease normally becomes evident after the age of 40. This is, therefore, a suitable age to start having examinations for preventive purposes.
Glaucoma is caused by problems with the fluid circulation in the eye, which often leads to increased internal pressure. This, in turn, damages the optic nerve and affects the field of vision. Once vision has been damaged in this way, it cannot be restored.
Glaucoma is an insidious disease in which the symptoms arise slowly. There are initially no obvious symptoms. Eventually – and the process may take years – you may notice that your sight is becoming poorer. The initial symptom is a shrinking of the outermost edge of the field of vision. The field of vision defect spreads inwards towards the center of the field, where it will be noticed.
Early detection an advantage
Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness. Early detection and early initiation of therapy give good prospects for counteracting or delaying damage to the optic nerve. Advanced methods are now available to detect early changes. It is particularly important to check your eyes if you have a family history of glaucoma, since the hereditary factor may lead to increased risk.
It is not sufficient to measure the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) in order to detect the risk of developing glaucoma.The pressure is often completely normal initially. A normal intraocular pressure may lead to a false sense of security, and this may delay the diagnosis.
Stockholms Ögonklinik offers a comprehensive screening programme that has the possibility of discovering glaucoma at an early stage.
Treatments for glaucoma are based on reduction of the intraocular pressure. This can be achieved either through medication or through continuous treatment with intraocular pressure lowering eye drops. Laser treatment is also possible. If, despite this, it is not possible to achieve a suitable pressure, surgery can be used. A number of new and safe surgical techniques that give effective pressure reduction are now available. We apply all of the relevant methods of treatment at Stockholms Ögonklinik. Our experienced specialists determine which method is most suitable for any particular patient.