Elevated ocular pressure and glaucoma

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a chronic eye condition that is the result of excessively high eye pressure, which damages the optical nerve. Increased eye pressure occurs if the fluid produced in the eye to nourish the cornea and the lens is not able to drain away properly. If the drainage of fluid doesn’t work properly, the pressure in your eye will increase. That is why it is important to have your ophthalmologist measure your eye pressure every few years after the age of 40.

Symptoms of glaucoma
Chronic glaucoma
  • Your field of vision gradually reduces.
  • At a more advanced stage, your visual acuity also decreases.
  • Blind spots will emerge in your field of vision, often without you even realising it.
Acute glaucoma
  • Your eyes become painful, red and dull.
  • Your vision becomes blurred.
  • You get headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Treatment of glaucoma

It is important to have your eye pressure measured regularly by your eye doctor, and to have a check-up of your optical nerve, in order to detect glaucoma early. In the event of symptoms of glaucoma, it is important to take quick action since occurred damage to the nerve cells cannot be repaired. The emphasis of glaucoma treatment is on lowering the eye pressure. This can be done with a laser treatment, eye drops or, in exceptional cases, an eye operation.

The treatment of glaucoma is aimed at keeping the eye pressure low permanently. Glaucoma is unfortunately incurable and damage that has already been caused cannot be repaired. That is why it is important for glaucoma to be diagnosed early, so that it can be treated appropriately. Regular check-ups are therefore important.

What treatments do we offer?

  • Unique in Belgium – Belkin laser treatment:

We are the first in Belgium to be able to offer our patients the Belkin ‘no-touch’ SLT laser treatment for glaucoma. According to the European glaucoma guidelines ‘Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty’ (SLT) treatment is the first choice for treating glaucoma. This brand-new ‘no-touch’ treatment is now prescribed by the glaucoma association as the preferred treatment, even ahead of the use of drops. In this painless laser treatment, the ophthalmologist does not have to touch your eyes at all.

With this laser treatment, short pulses are used to widen your tear drainage system, so that the fluid can be drained away better and your eye pressure decreases. This laser treatment is painless and usually has to be repeated after 3 to 5 years.

  • Eye drops
Patients who can’t tolerate lasers or don’t respond well to the laser treatment are treated with eye drops to keep the eye pressure stable. The eye drops are intended to reduce the aqueous humour or improve drainage of fluid. They have to be administered once or twice a day.
  • Microstent
With this surgical procedure, carried out under local anaesthesia, a new drainage channel is created in order to reduce the eye pressure. The new drainage channel is made with a tiny tube the size of an eyelash, known as a microstent.
  • Glaucoma surgery (trabeculectomy)

In this procedure, carried out under topical (with drops) anaesthesia a small opening is made in the white part of the eye, so that fluid can drain away. This will reduce eye pressure considerably.

How much does glaucoma treatment cost?

The cost of this treatment varies and depends on the approach selected and the seriousness of the glaucoma. During the consultation, we will explain the costs of your specific treatment. This treatment is covered by medical insurance.