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Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye which exhibits a typical optic neuropathy which results in progressive visual field loss.The most important risk factor is raised intraocular pressure.Risk factors for glaucoma include age above 40 years, diabetes, myopia, mature cataract, trauma, certain retinal diseases and a family history of glaucoma. It is commonly caused by obstruction to the drainage channels of the eye. Although infants and children can rarely be affected, glaucoma is more common in the adult population. The raised pressure can cause irrecoverable damage to the optic nerve and can result in permanent loss of vision.

What Causes Glaucoma?

It’s the result of high fluid pressure inside your eye. This happens when the liquid in the front part of the eye doesn’t circulate the way it should.

Normally, the fluid, called aqueous humor, flows out of your eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel gets blocked, the liquid builds up. That’s what causes glaucoma. The reason for the blockage is unknown, but doctors do know it can be inherited, meaning it’s passed from parents to children.

Less common causes include a blunt or chemical injury to your eye, severe eye infection, blocked blood vessels inside the eye, and inflammatory conditions. It’s rare, but sometimes eye surgery to correct another condition can bring it on. It usually affects both eyes, but it may be worse in one than the other.

What Are the Types of Glaucoma?

There are two main kinds:

Open-angle glaucoma. It’s the most common type. Your doctor may also call it wide-angle glaucoma. The drain structure in your eye — it’s called the trabecular meshwork — looks normal, but fluid doesn’t flow out like it should.

Angle-closure glaucoma. It’s less common in the West than in Asia. You may also hear it called acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. Your eye doesn’t drain right because the angle between your iris and cornea is too narrow. Your iris is in the way. This can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in your eye. It’s also linked to farsightedness and cataracts, a clouding of the lens inside your eye.

A number of medications are currently in use to treat glaucoma. We prescribe a combination of medications or change your prescription over time to reduce side-effects or provide a more effective treatment. Typically medications are intended to reduce elevated intraocular pressure and prevent damage to the optic nerve.

Treatment:-

  • Medication
  • Laser
  • Surgery

The mode of treatment is decided by stage, compliance of the patient.

All modalities are well discussed with the patient

KEY NOTE:

Glaucoma is preventable blindness and periodic eye checkup can detect and prevent blindness.

Consult eye surgeon for the same.

Surgery involves either laser treatment or making a cut in the eye to reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP). The type of surgery recommended depends on the type and severity of your glaucoma and the general health of your eye. Surgery can help lower pressure when medication is not sufficient, however, it cannot reverse vision loss.

Majority of patients have no symptoms until late progression of the disease.

Few patient notices following symptoms

  • Blurring of vision
  • Halos around light
  • Frequent changes of glasses
  • Pain and redness
  • A headache

During a glaucoma exam, Following procedure available in K K hospital:

  • measure your eye pressure
  • inspect your eye’s drainage angle
  • examine your optic nerve for damage
  • test your peripheral (side) vision- perimetry
  • take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve
  • A headache

Some people have a higher than normal risk of getting glaucoma. This includes people who:

  • Are over age 40
  • Have family members with glaucoma
  • Are farsighted or nearsighted
  • Have had an eye injury
  • Have corneas that are thin in the center
  • Have thinning of the optic nerve
  • Have diabetes, migraines, poor blood circulation or other health problems affecting the whole body
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