Glaucoma is when damage or deterioration occurs to the optic nerve in the back of the eye. The usual mechanism responsible for this is increased pressure inside the eye. That pressure is what is referred to as intraocular tension. This is an area of special interest to Dr. Wynne and a significant portion of his time is dedicated to treating and managing this disease. There are several types of glaucoma and it can be confusing to understand. For instance, some people will have a damaged optic nerve, yet the pressure in the eye is not elevated, while others may have elevated pressures and their optic nerves do not become damaged. This is why we use the most thorough methods for testing both the structure and function of the optic nerve. Our latest instrument, the Zeiss Visual Field Analyser uses the most comprehensive statistical analysis to monitor for change in the optc nerve function over time.
This instrument not only evaluates the current function of the optic nerve, but looks back at previous results and watches for statistical progression over many years. Our Heidelberg Scanning Ophthalmoscope uses laser image analysis to detect minute changes in optic nerve structure. Combining the power of statistical analysis of both optic nerve structure and function as well as data collected during the eye examinations, provides very strong evidence for disease stability or progression. This allows us to make the best medical decisions as to when to treat initially, change therapy or continue to monitor without treatment. Most of our cases are treated by the use of simple eyedrops. Occasionally we will call in a consultant for laser treatment and rarely surgical intervention is needed. It is important to understand that glaucoma is typically without signs or symptoms until later stages. There have been unfortunate cases were patients will present for an examination after many years without care and have severe damage to the optic nerve. While they may not yet have symptoms, eventually vision loss becomes inevitable and irreversible. This is usually avoidable with timely eye examinations.
Image Credit - National Eye Institute