What is glaucoma?
According to the French Glaucoma Society, “Glaucoma is an eye disease that mainly affects people over 45 years of age. It is often due to an increase in eye pressure reaching the optic nerve and the visual field ”.
How to explain the increase in pressure?
Aqueous humor is a fluid that is constantly produced in the eye. Normally, it is evacuated through a filter, called a trabeculum.
In the event of glaucoma, the evacuation of the aqueous humor is slowed down, thus increasing the pressure inside the eyeball, resulting in an alteration of the fibers of the optic nerve.
The discomfort results in progressive impairment, with slow disappearance of vision to the sides.
Ultimately and without care, central vision will disappear, leading to blindness.
In total, more than a million people are affected by glaucoma in France.
Unfortunately, glaucoma initially progresses quietly without causing any symptoms. Hence the importance of screening. The latter is intended for people over 40 years old. But also to those suffering from myopia, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, hyperthyroidism or having taken corticosteroids for a long time.
What support ?
“All the treatments currently available aim to limit the progression of glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure”, explains Professor Philippe Denis.
“The management is primarily based on eye drops. Which have experienced two recent innovations. On the one hand, the development of combinations of several substances, allowing patients to administer only one eye drops at a time. And secondly, the marketing of eye drops that no longer contain preservatives. The latter were indeed accused of causing toxicity at the level of the surface of the eye, causing symptoms of eye irritation. “
“This technique involves sending light impacts on the small area of the eye where the aqueous liquid escapes. This helps reduce eye pressure, often as a follow-up to medical treatment or in combination. “
“It is intended for patients whose glaucoma becomes severe and who can no longer be controlled by other treatments. Its principle, create a drainage to evacuate the aqueous liquid. An approach that can be a source of complications.
Minimally invasive surgery
“Between medical treatment, laser and surgery, there is minimally invasive surgery, which consists of placing stents, very small drains, which are inserted at different places in the eye, under local anesthesia, allow better drainage. aqueous humor. Relatively simple and quick, this technique is intended for patients who do not respond to medical treatment. After the operation, they will be able to reduce the number of eye drops, which is an advantage for their quality of life. Among the many systems offered, iStent inject® is today the only implant reimbursed when the operation is combined with that of cataracts. “