Glaucoma

introduction

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a set of conditions which results in damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is located at the back of the eye and it transmits visual signals from the eye to the brain helping in visualization. Damage to the optic nerve could result in blindness. In glaucoma, the optic nerve is often damaged by an unusually high pressure exerted on it. This damage to the optic nerve could ultimately result in blindness. 

Glaucoma is also said to be the leading cause of blindness in adults. In a few types of glaucoma, the patient shows undetectable to no symptoms. The impact is steady to such an extent that it would not be noticed until the condition is at a serious stage.  

What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

  • Loss of vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Persistent headache 
  • Eye redness 
  • Stomach upset, nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the eye

Causes of Glaucoma

  • Build-up of aqueous humor inside the eye
  • Genetic reasons
  • Birth defects
  • Blunt or chemical injury 
  • Acute eye infection
  • Blockage by blood vessels inside the eye
  • Inflammatory conditions
  • In rare cases, previous eye surgeries

Types of Glaucoma

What is Congenital Glaucoma? Congenital Glaucoma otherwise known as childhood glaucoma, infantile glaucoma or pediatric glaucoma is found to occur in...

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What is Lens Induced Glaucoma? With the damage to the optic nerve, lens induced glaucoma is caused by the leakage...

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What is Malignant Glaucoma? Malignant Glaucoma was first described by Graefe in 1869 as an elevated IOP with a shallow...

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What is Secondary Glaucoma? Let’s try to understand this a little better. The frontal region of the eye, between the...

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Glaucoma Risk Factors

You are most likely to get glaucoma if you

  • Are over 60 years of age
  • Have high internal eye pressure
  • Have a family member diagnosed with glaucoma
  • Have certain conditions like diabetes, heart conditions, sickle cell anaemia and high blood pressure. 
  • Have thin corneas that are thin at the centre
  • Have extreme conditions of nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Have had eye injuries, surgeries 
  • Take corticosteroid medications for a long time

 

prevention

Glaucoma Prevention

Taking a look at glaucoma cure, it cannot be fully prevented. However early diagnosis could help in controlling it.
Some of the best ways to ensure we catch glaucoma early are

  • To have eye checkups often
  • To be aware of your family’s medical history
  • Keeping fit and eating healthy
  • Protecting your eyes while performing tasks that could cause injuries to the eye

Glaucoma Diagnosis 

The doctor would take a look at the patient’s medical history and conduct a thorough eye examination. They may also opt to perform other tests. These tests are quick and pain-free. 

Some of these tests include:

  • Tonometry or measuring the internal eye pressure
  • Looking for optic nerve damages by dilating and imaging 
  • They may also do a visual field test to look for blind spots in the eye
  • A pachymetry test could also be performed to find out the corneal thickness
  • Gonioscopy for examining the drainage angle between the iris and the cornea

 

Glaucoma Treatment 

Depending on the type of glaucoma, the doctor may choose to treat it using the following methods or even a combination of the methods. 

Eye drops and Oral Medication 

Eye drops either help with the drainage of fluids or reduce the production of fluids itself thereby helping in lowering eye pressure. Eye drops could have some side effects which the doctor would inform you about. Inform your doctor about current medications and allergies in case you are asked to take eye drops. Beta-blocker or carbonic anhydrase inhibitor drugs could also be prescribed, these have a similar role as that of the eye drops.

Laser surgery 

In the case of open-angle glaucoma, laser surgery would help in increasing the fluid flow. In the case of angle-closure glaucoma, the fluid blockage would be stopped by procedures such as Trabeculoplasty (Opening of the drainage area), Iridotomy (Making a small opening in the iris to facilitate free-flowing of fluid) and Cyclophotocoagulation (Making the fluid production lesser)

Microsurgery

To reduce the eye pressure, the doctor creates a new channel to ease the flow of the fluid. 

Even though glaucoma is not completely curable, it could be controlled and a complete vision loss could be prevented. You could treat it before it worsens. If you show symptoms or are diagnosed with glaucoma get in touch with us today to be treated by some of the safest hands! Book an appointment now.

Doctor Speaks: All you need to know about Glaucoma

09 January 2021

Dr. Elfride Sanjana

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