According to Vision Direct around a million people in the UK have glaucoma and we probably all know someone who has been diagnosed or who has got a family history of glaucoma. I remember from an early age when my Uncle was told that he had to give up driving – this vibrant man was hugely effected by having his freedom to go anywhere at anytime taken away and came to rely on friends and family to take him to places. Depression hit him hard, he didn’t go anywhere and when people offered to take him out he declined but over time he came to accept his new life. How can something so commonplace that people all over the world get diagnosed with every minute of everyday effect someone so hugely? I think all too often we hear that our friend, our parents have glaucoma and just shrug it off.
My husbands Nan also had glaucoma, she was lucky it didn’t take away her ability to drive (being the grand old age of 95 did that and her knowing that her reactions were not as quick as they once were!) but she had to go for yearly glaucoma tests which for was great as it was a day out and she could chat to old friends and make new friends at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. She was quite a character so everyone loved her who got to know her. A family member always tried to be with her when she went even though she was of sound mind or as she would like to tell you – had all her marbles but it’s nice to have that support isn’t it? However Nans main concern was that she was going to go blind. She worried that she wasn’t going to see her grandsons get married or see her great grandchildren grow up so out of all her check ups that she had to go to when you get to nonagenarian (in your 90’s to the lay man) her glaucoma check up was one that she never missed.
NICE say that approximately 10% of UK blindness registrations are attributed to glaucoma. It is estimated that in the UK about 2% of people older than 40 have chronic open angle glaucoma, and this rises to almost 10% in people older than 75, scary isn’t it? Over 20 years glaucoma can lead to blindness in at least one eye but fortunately glaucoma progresses very slowly and that vision loss can be impeded, slowed or even stopped with treatment.
All treatment for glaucoma aims to lower your eye pressure to prevent damager to your optic nerve and your sight. Treatment to lower your eye pressure usually starts with eye drops, and for most people with glaucoma, this is all the treatment they will ever need. However, these drops will need to be used long term or for life.
If it’s not possible to control your eye pressure with eye drops alone, then laser treatment may be offered and some people, where eye drops haven’t been successful in keeping the eye pressure stable, or where the glaucoma is advanced, surgery may be an option. The most common surgery for glaucoma is called a trabeculectomy.
Unfortunately, once sight loss occurs, it can’t be reversed as there are currently no treatments which can restore the damaged nerve. However, the treatments for glaucoma can help to prevent further optic nerve damage and any further loss of sight – RNIB
As I mentioned glaucoma is most common in people who have a relative with the condition, people over 50 and people from African-Caribbean or East Asian backgrounds. This means my husband and even my children are at risk of developing glaucoma when they’re older and all I can hope is that treatment advances.
Sanoculis is an efficient, safe, fast and simple surgical technique that enables controlled fluid flow without leaving behind stitches, implants or patches. Resulting in a creation of a sclero-corneal drainage channel, the procedure ensures long-lasting controlled fluid flow with minimal complications – with the ultimate benefit of reduced intraocular pressure.
MIMS® is much less traumatic to the surrounding tissue than conventional glaucoma surgery and leaves nothing behind which would be something I would want for my family. This is why I am so looking forward to bringing this technique to the UK market.
If you are interested in finding out more then please contact Eakin Surgical Ltd who is the UK distributor of Sanoculis Ltd.
Please contact us on 02920 767 800 or email [email protected]