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GLAUCOMA:

  • Symptoms
  • Causes
  • Types
  • Risk Factors Diagnosis
  • Treatments
  • IOLs
  • Prevention

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can damage your optic nerve. The optic nerve supplies visual information to your brain from your eyes. Glaucoma is usually, but not always, the result of abnormally high pressure inside your eye. Over time, the increased pressure can erode your optic nerve tissue, which may lead to vision loss or even blindness. If it’s caught early, one may be able to prevent additional vision loss.

Symptoms

  • The most common type of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. It has no signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss. For that reason, it’s important that yearly comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmologist should be done to monitor any changes in your vision.
  • Acute-angle closure glaucoma, which is also known as narrow-angle glaucoma, is a medical emergency. Comprising of symptoms:
  • severe eye pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • redness in your eye
  • sudden vision disturbances
  • seeing colored rings around lights
  • sudden blurred vision

Cause

The back of the eye continuously makes a clear fluid called aqueous humor. As this fluid is made, it fills the front part of the eye. Then, it leaves the eye through channels in the cornea and iris. If these channels are blocked or partially obstructed, the natural pressure in the eye, which is called the intraocular pressure (IOP), may increase. As IOP increases, optic nerve may become damaged. As damage to nerve progresses, one may begin losing eyesight. What causes the pressure in the eye to increase isn’t always known. However one or more of these factors may play a role:

  • blocked or restricted drainage in your eye
  • medications, such as corticosteroids
  • poor or reduced blood flow to your optic nerve
  • high or elevated blood pressure

Types

Five major types of glaucoma exist:

  • Open-Angle (Chronic) Glaucoma This glaucoma has no signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss. This loss may be so slow that the vision can suffer irreparable damage before any other signs become apparent.
  • Angle-Closure (Acute) Glaucoma If the flow of the aqueous humor fluid is suddenly blocked, the rapid buildup of fluid may cause a severe, quick, and painful increase in pressure. Angle-closure glaucoma is an emergency situation.
  • Congenital Glaucoma Children born with congenital glaucoma have a defect in the angle of their eye, which slows or prevents normal fluid drainage. Congenital glaucoma can run in families.
  • Secondary Glaucoma Secondary glaucoma is often a side effect of injury or another eye condition, such as cataracts or eye tumors.
  • Normal Tension Glaucoma In some cases, without increased in eye pressure damage to their optic nerve developes. The cause of this isn’t known.

Risk Factors

  • Age- >60 years
  • Eye Problems- Chronic eye inflammation, Physical injury or trauma and thin corneas.
  • Family History
  • Medical History- diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Medicine- corticosteroids for extended periods may increase your risk of developing secondary glaucoma.

Diagnosis

  • Detailed Medical History
  • Any personal or family history of glaucoma to determine if any other health conditions may be impacting your eye health, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • Tonometry Test
  • Measures intra ocular pressure.

  • Pachymetry Test
  • Done to measure corneal thickness.

  • Perimetry Test
  • This test, also known as a visual field test. This test is done to measure the peripheral, side and central vision.

  • OCT Optical Coherence Tomography
  • This is done to find out the level of damage to the optic nerve.

Treatment

The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce IOP to stop any additional eyesight loss. Treatment options include:

  • Medications
  • Several medicines are designed to reduce IOP. These medicines are available in the form of eye drops or pills, but the drops are more commonly used or a combination of these.

  • Surgery
  • If a blocked or slow channel is causing increased IOP, surgery to maybe needed to drain the path for fluid or destroy tissues that are responsible for the increased fluid.

  • Laser
  • A laser procedure called laser peripheral iridotomy may also be performed for narrow angle glaucoma patients. This procedure creates small holes in the iris to allow for increased fluid movement.

Prevention

If increased in IOP can be stopped and the pressure returned to normal, vision loss may be slowed or even stopped. However, because there’s no cure for glaucoma, one may likely need treatment for the rest of the life to regulate IOP. Unfortunately, vision lost as a result of glaucoma cannot be restored. Glaucoma can’t be prevented, but it’s still important to catch it early so that one can begin treatment that will help prevent it from getting worse. The best way to catch any type of glaucoma early is to have an annual preventive eye care appointment.

Why chose us?

At AGRAWAL EYE HOSPITAL we give importance to your eye and health. Glaucoma being a disease causing irreversible damage to your eye its early detection is a must. We at our centre routinely sreen every patient that walks in for signs of glaucoma. We are equipped with very high end machines namely Heidelberg OCT Machine for optic nerve screening along with Perimetry from Zeiss Germany which helps us detect glaucoma at its initial stages. Please feel free to contact us for any further querries or doubts. We are always glad to help you.