Glaucoma is a chronic and progressive disease, the causes of which are not yet known. It affects the optic nerve and it is the second leading cause of visual impairment in the world.
Professor Paolo Vinciguerra, Head of the Ophthalmology Centre at Humanitas, explains: “Glaucoma manifests itself with three factors: high eye pressure that causes deterioration of the optic nerve and consequent damage to the visual field. For glaucoma to be present, all three factors must be present.
The diagnosis of glaucoma is often late and the social impact of this disease is very relevant.
How is it diagnosed?
There are no preventive strategies in the case of glaucoma, as in the case of other eye diseases. However, early diagnosis is fundamental, because it “allows you to act early, subjecting the patient to less invasive and less destructive therapy,” Professor Vinciguerra points out.
In the case of glaucoma, advanced high-tech diagnostics can predict how eyesight and field of vision will evolve, thus providing the practitioner with useful insights into the most appropriate treatment.
How do you treat glaucoma?
The therapy initially involves the administration of eye drops. Where these are not sufficient to decrease eye pressure or damage to the field of vision, surgery (trabeculectomy) or para-surgical treatments, such as lasers, are necessary.
“Valve implants are also becoming increasingly important, especially in patients with advanced glaucoma or in whom traditional surgery has not produced the expected results. When the conditions exist that enable one to carry out an operation like that, with new technologies, it is much less invasive and allows an almost immediate recovery.
It is a new, minimally invasive operation that, thanks to draining valves capable of venting the sick eye, restores the correct ocular pressure”, explains Prof. Vinciguerra.