the silent blindness

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy that affects the optic nerve. The condition is often associated with high intraocular pressure, but that is not the only indicator for diagnosis.

The disease includes a series of symptoms whose direct consequence is the degeneration of sensitive eye tissues, retinal nerve fibres, and especially the optic nerve that transmits information to the brain. In most cases this condition is the result of increased intraocular pressure.

Risk groups

Patients over 40 years old.

Patients affected by myopia magna, diabetes or with family history of glaucoma.

Long-term steroids users.

Patients of African descent, especially older than 35. Patients with previous eye trauma.

Symptoms of glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition that develops gradually and is usually diagnosed in advanced phases, since in its most frequent forms it lacks symptomatology.

In some cases a sudden increase of ocular pressure may lead to the following symptoms:


Tunnel vision

Gradual loss of peripheral vision.

Pain around the eyes

Usually when affected patients move from a dark to a lit environment.


Headache and red eyes.

Nausea and vomiting


Halo vision


Blurry vision


Three basic testings for the detection of glaucoma include:

  • Tonometry– Measuring of intraocular pressure (IOP)
  • GDx and OCT – Examination of the optic nerve and the retina
  • Computerised Campimetry – Measuring of the field of vision
  • Genetic testing– Nowadays glaucoma can be prevented by conducting genetic tests that measure the patient’s predisposition to the pseudo-exfoliation syndrome (PEX). Around 50% of patients affected by this syndrome eventually develop glaucoma. The test is carried out with a sample of the patient’s saliva and a subsequent analysis of highly reliable markers.


  • Iridotomy: this procedure involves opening a way to restore the flow of fluid to the front of the eye, bypassing the pupil. A small drilling is made on the peripheral part of the iris using the YAG Laser method. This is a simple, painless, “walk in-walk out” procedure carried out in the doctor’s office
  • Iridoplasty: a series of impacts are made on the peripheral area of the iris using Argon laser to cause the contraction of the iris tissue. The purpose of this procedure is to open the drainage channels and let the aqueous humour flow more easily
  • Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT): this method acts directly on the trabecular meshwork from which the aqueous humour drains, to facilitate drainage
  • Diode laser transscleral cyclophotocoagulation: unlike the previously described procedures this method is carried out in the operation room and is reserved for advanced and complicated cases of glaucoma. This procedure acts directly on the source of aqueous humour, the ciliary body.



The basis of this treatment is the same as in YAG Laser Iridotomy, which is communicating the anterior and posterior parts of the eye to facilitate the drainage of aqueous humour. The difference between the two procedures is that iridectomy involves a surgical resectioning of the iris peripheral area, which is performed in the OR. This method is an alternative for cases where iridotomy proves impracticable or insufficient.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

This procedure represents the newest development in glaucoma surgery nowadays. This surgery is recommended for patients with slight-moderate ocular hypertension as an adjuvant that could reduce or even replace topical treatment, since chronic use of eye drops has uncomfortable secondary effects such as eye dryness. This treatment does not only improve ocular pressure but also increases the patient’s life quality.

Glaucoma filtration surgery (Trabeculectomy and sclerostomy)

These surgery methods intend to create a passage from the anterior to the exterior chamber of the eye to drain aqueous humour.

Glaucoma Drainage Devices

The use of these devices is limited to cases of advanced glaucoma in which other procedures have failed or are impracticable.


The expertise of our medical team combined with the use of state-of-the-art technology guarantee the best results for our patients


«I’ve been a patient of Rahhal Clinic for many years now. Our family chose the clinic for the excellent service and the staff’s friendly interaction with patients.»

Fernando Alcañiz. 

«Dr Rahhal is an excellent professional who loves his job and is happy doing it. After my first visit I never went to another clinic. I am delighted with the service.»

Lourdes García. 

«I have been visiting this clinic for a while now and I’m very satisfied with them. The staff are very friendly and professional. Excellent facility. I recommend Rahhal clinic!»

Esther Herranz. 



At RAHHAL CLINIC we want treatment to be affordable for our patients.



Select any of the following FAQs from our patients and check the answers. If your doubts are not solved please use the contact form below to get in touch with us.

Is ocular pressure the same as blood pressure?

No. Both terms refer to different concepts. Blood pressure depends on our cardiovascular system whereas ocular pressure depends on the capability of our eyes to filter their liquid content.

Can high intraocular pressure be painful?

Pain caused by high intraocular pressure will depend on the chronic or acute nature of this condition. In cases of chronic high pressure the eye is “used” to this condition and generally patients do not experience any pain. In an acute increase of ocular pressure pain is a common symptom.

However, in most cases of glaucoma high intraocular pressure is chronic, without sharp increase and patients do not present any symptoms. In such cases high ocular pressure is detected during routine eye examinations.

Is eye pressure measured with pneumotonometry (air) the same as measured with tonometry (contact)?

Both standards are accepted, air-measured pressure is less exact and approximate values are used.

Is having high intraocular pressure an unmistakable symptom of glaucoma?

Not necessarily. Ocular pressure over the average limit does not always imply an eye condition, on the other hand ocular pressure levels considered “normal” for most individuals are sufficient for the development or advance of glaucoma in certain patients.

High ocular pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma and an accurate examination by an ophthalmologist is the best way to determine whether or not therapeutic intervention is required.

Is family history a determinant factor?

It certainly is. Genetic load has a significant influence on the development of glaucoma and those patients with a family history of this disease should have close ophthalmological monitoring.

At what age should glaucoma be a concern?

Although certain types of glaucoma have an early onset, even at birth, the highest incidence of glaucoma is at 40 or older. Yearly eye examinations are recommended to rule out any possible pathologies.

Does the treatment of glaucoma always involve surgery?

Not always. Surgery will only be necessary in cases where high intraocular pressure cannot be controlled with medication or when patients are intolerant to it.

Do I have to keep using eye drops for ocular pressure after surgery?

That will depend on the specific case. If optimal pressure levels for each patient are achieved with surgery it may be possible to reduce or discontinue their use. It is often necessary to combine both treatments (eye drops and surgery) to achieved adequate levels of intraocular pressure.

First visit

Leave your contact info and we’ll get back to you. You will receive a confirmation email and within a few hours we’ll call you to schedule an appointment.