What is glaucoma?


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases damaging the optic nerve, the  health of which is vital for good eyesight. This damage in the majority of times is caused by unusually high pressure in the eyes (intraocular pressure-IOP). Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60 but can occur at any age, with greater prevalence in older adults.

Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs and the result is so gradual that the patient will not notice any change in vision until the condition is advanced.

For this reason, glaucoma is also called a "silent killer of sight".

As it is well known glaucoma vision loss is irreversible, so it is important to have regular eye check-ups to measure your intraocular pressure, so the diagnosis can be made at an earlier stage of the condition when can be treated appropriately. If glaucoma is diagnosed early, vision loss can be slowed down or prevented. By principle, if patients diagnosed with glaucoma, they will need treatment for the rest of their lives.




The symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of the condition. The following are indicative:




If left untreated, glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.




Glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve. As the damage to the optic nerve gradually worsen, opaque areas (black spots) appear in the patient's visual field (scotomas).

The main cause of this pathogenesis remains unknown, but it is believed that it is largely an inherited disease, and in some people, researchers have identified genes associated with high intraocular pressure and optic nerve damage.

The increased pressure in the eyes is due to the accumulation of fluid that is normally produced (aqueous humor) and flows inside the eye. This fluid is usually drained through the drainage channel off the eye which is the angle formed between the iris and the cornea. When there is excessive production of this liquid or the drainage system does not work properly, the outflow at a normal rate and the intraocular pressure increases.


The main types of glaucoma are:



Risk factors


As far as chronic forms of glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss before the patient notices anything, it is good to know the following risk factors:





To diagnose glaucoma, the ophthalmologist will examine the patient's medical history and perform a complete ophthalmological examination. Usually glaucoma tests, among others, include:





The damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible. However, early diagnosis and treatment of the disease can help slow down or prevent vision loss.


Glaucoma is treated by reducing intraocular pressure. Depending on the case, the options that the ophthalmologist will choose may include eye drops, oral therapy (pills), laser treatment, surgery or a combination of the above.



Why Emmetropia


At Emmetropia Eye Clinic, we are investing in new technology to ensure that all measurements, examinations, and finally treatments are performed accurately.

Our medical staff will inform you and advise you in detail on the best possible solution. Emmetropia is the only ophthalmology clinic in Crete with two ophthalmologists, with subspecialty in glaucoma (fellowship in Glaucoma), Dr. Aslanides and Dr. Sykakis.

In our Clinic we have a dedicated glaucoma department with state-of-the-art technology available to diagnose and monitor any type of glaucoma. All modern methods of laser treatment (such as Ellex's only state-of-the-art SLT laser technology in Crete) as well as surgical treatments such as trabeculectomy and valve implants for more complicated cases of glaucoma, are available for emergency treatments.