Glaucoma

Glaucoma

Ophthalmology Services

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive and degenerative disorder that affects the optic nerve, which is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, thus resulting in visual field loss. Excessively high pressure in your eye is often the most important risk factor of this damage.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. However, more than 50% of cases came late at diagnosis. In Malaysia, the prevalence of glaucoma is increasing.

While glaucoma can occur at any age, it is more common for people over the age of 60. Many types of glaucoma have no symptoms. Because the effect is so gradual, you may not detect a change in vision until the condition has progressed to an advanced stage.

Since vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be restored, it is critical to have frequent eye exams that include measures of your eye pressure so that a diagnosis may be made and appropriate treatment can be administered.

Vision loss can be delayed or prevented if glaucoma is detected early. If you have the disease, you will almost certainly require treatment for the rest of your life.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive and degenerative disorder that affects the optic nerve, which is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, thus resulting in visual field loss. Excessively high pressure in your eye is often the most important risk factor of this damage.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. However, more than 50% of cases came late at diagnosis. In Malaysia, the prevalence of glaucoma is increasing.

While glaucoma can occur at any age, it is more common for people over the age of 60. Many types of glaucoma have no symptoms. Because the effect is so gradual, you may not detect a change in vision until the condition has progressed to an advanced stage.

Since vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be restored, it is critical to have frequent eye exams that include measures of your eye pressure so that a diagnosis may be made and appropriate treatment can be administered.

Vision loss can be delayed or prevented if glaucoma is detected early. If you have the disease, you will almost certainly require treatment for the rest of your life.

Types of glaucoma and its symptoms

The signs and symptoms of glaucoma differ depending on the type and stage of the disease.

  • Open-angle glaucoma

    The most common form of the disease. Although the drainage angle created by the cornea and iris remains open, the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. As a result, the pressure in the eye steadily rises, causing the optic nerve to be damaged. It happens so slowly that you may lose your vision before you realise it.

    Symptoms may include:

    • Patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes
    • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages
  • Angle-closure glaucoma

    Also known as closed-angle glaucoma, it occurs when the iris bulges forward, narrowing or blocking the drainage angle created by the cornea and iris. As a result, fluid would be unable to circulate through the eye, and pressure increases. Some people have narrow drainage angles, which puts them at risk of angle-closure glaucoma.

    Angle-closure glaucoma can develop suddenly (acute angle-closure glaucoma) or gradually (chronic angle-closure glaucoma). Acute angle-closure glaucoma can be considered a medical emergency.

    Symptoms may include:

    • Severe headache
    • Eye pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Blurred vision
    • Halos around lights
    • Eye redness

Visit our eye specialist centre EYECENTRIC , at Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) for consultation if you ever experienced any of these symptoms.

Diagnosis and treatment

Our highly trained ophthalmologists will go over your medical history and provide a thorough eye check-up. The doctor may conduct a variety of tests, including:

  • Measuring intraocular pressure (tonometry)
  • Testing for optic nerve damage with a dilated eye examination and imaging tests
  • Checking for areas of vision loss (visual field test)
  • Measuring corneal thickness (pachymetry)
  • Inspecting the drainage angle (gonioscopy)

Glaucoma is irreversible. However, treatment and regular check-ups can help slow or prevent vision loss, especially if the condition is detected early.

Glaucoma can be treated by reducing your intraocular pressure (IOP). Depending on the severity, your options may include prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery, or a combination of these.

Eye drops

Prescription eye drops are frequently used to treat glaucoma. These can help to alleviate eye pressure by improving the way fluid drains from your eye or by reducing the amount of fluid your eye produces. Depending on how low your eye pressure has to be, more than one eye drop may be prescribed.

Oral medications

If eye drops alone are ineffective in lowering your eye pressure, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication. Frequent urination, tingling in the fingers and toes, depression, stomach discomfort, and kidney stones are possible adverse effects.

Surgery and other therapies

  • Laser therapy If you have open-angle glaucoma, you may be able to benefit from laser trabeculoplasty. The doctor utilises a small laser beam to clear clogged channels in the trabecular meshwork. It may take several weeks for the full impact of this surgery to be noticed.
  • Filtering surgery A trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure in which a hole is made in the white of the eye (sclera) and a portion of the trabecular meshwork is removed.
  • Drainage tubes During this procedure, the eye surgeon inserts a thin tube shunt into your eye to drain extra fluid and reduce your eye pressure.
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) These treatments, in general, involve less immediate postoperative care and have fewer risks than trabeculectomy or the insertion of a drainage device. They are commonly combined with cataract surgery. There are several MIGS procedures available, and the doctor will discuss which one is best for you.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. If you are diagnosed with this disease, you will require immediate treatment to reduce the pressure in your eye. In most cases, this will involve the use of medication as well as laser or other surgical procedures.

The doctor may perform a laser peripheral iridotomy, in which the doctor uses a laser to create a small opening in your iris. This allows fluid (aqueous humour) to flow through it, resulting in lower eye pressure.

At EYECENTRIC, our expert team delivers state-of-the-art care using first-rate clinical practice and advanced medical diagnostics. Our team of highly experienced eye surgeons also offer a range of services, from laser surgery to medical therapy.

Meet our Specialist

Dato’ Dr Linda Teoh Oon Cheng

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Glaucoma Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology






Dr Lee Ming Yueh

Designation
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Glaucoma Surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology