Glaucoma is a condition that can gradually interfere with your vision, usually starting at the edges (peripheral vision). You may not notice anything is wrong initially, and it is often picked up at a routine test at your opticians. More information can be found at The International Glaucoma Association [http://www.glaucoma-association.com/]
How do I arrange an appointment?
Your GP can arrange an appointment for you. It is important to have a regular appointment with your optician who should be able to detect the early signs of glaucoma at routine eye tests. Your optician can alert your GP of any signs.
What happens in a glaucoma clinic?
After your vision has been tested on the eye chart, you are often required to have a visual field test (a test of peripheral vision). This involves sitting in front of a screen and pressing a button each time you see a light. You will then see the doctor who will examine your eye and check your eye pressure.
Your eye pressure will be measured by applanation tonometry, where your eye is numbed with drops, and a lens very gently touches the front of your eye to take readings. You will need to have a special test called gonioscopy to judge the health of your drainage system inside your eye.
You may need a special image taking of your eye (similar to a photograph). The eye drops used often leave you with blurry vision for several hours afterwards, so you should not drive yourself home from the clinic.
If glaucoma is confirmed, you may be prescribed eye drops to control the eye pressure. This will be explained to you in the clinic. Patients with glaucoma often need to take eye drops every day, and to return for periodic check-ups.
Occasionally, in some patients the drops do not work well enough. Other options are available including laser treatment or surgery. These would be discussed with you if necessary.
Driving and glaucoma
Most patients who have glaucoma need to inform the DVLA about their diagnosis. The DVLA often arrange special tests (visual field tests), which can be done at a local opticians. Please see the DVLA website for the latest guidance.