Glaucoma is a subspecialty in which ophthalmologists have a special interest in diagnosing, carrying out tests and treating glaucoma and other similar eye conditions. In such eye conditions there is damage to the optic nerve, which carries information from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is most commonly a result of increase in the amount of fluid in the front of the eye, which in turn causes increase pressure inside the eye. The pressure causes compression and subsequent damage to the optic nerve. The front part of the eye has clear fluid, called aqueous humour, which is a made by a part of the eye called ciliary body. The fluid flows through the pupil and then reaches the eye’s drainage system including trabecular meshwork and a system of canals. The aqueous humour forms and drains continually and any block of the drainage system will result in fluid collection. Glaucoma develops gradually and patients often do not notice any symptoms until it is in advanced state. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.
Glaucoma specialists perform tests where they measure the pressure inside the eye, check visual fields and examine the back of patients’ eyes. They also prescribe drops to lower the pressure inside the eye, perform laser procedures and surgery if the pressure inside the eye increases to dangerous levels.
Glaucoma patients can get involved in research projects, supervised by ophthalmologists. Some ongoing studies in glaucoma include :“Examining the assumptions, accuracy and acceptance of an electronic monitoring device for adherence to eye drops” where researchers study patients’ adherence to eye drops.
Another study called “Evaluation of the Duration of Effect of Bimatoprost SR in Participants With Open-angle Glaucoma or Ocular Hypertension” looks into establishing the duration of glaucoma treatment with a particular medication, called Bimatoprost.