One of the most common causes of the irreversible vision loss in India today, Glaucoma is an eye disease where the high pressure within the eye damages the delicate optical fiber nerves. These nerves are responsible for carrying visual impulses from eye to the brain.
Glaucoma develops slowly and, in most cases,, patients are not aware of the gradual loss of sight until it is very late. Following are some warning signs and one should get an examination done by the ophthalmologist:
Difficulty focusing on near or distant objects
Unusual trouble adjusting to dark rooms
Squinting or blinking due to unusual sensitivity to light or glare
Red-rimmed encrusted or swollen lids
Recurrent pain in or around eyes
Excess tearing or “watery eyes”
Sudden loss of vision in one eye
Sudden hazy or blurred vision
Flashes of light or black spots
Halos or rainbows around light
Types of Glaucoma
There are two kinds of Glaucoma:
- Open- Angle Glaucoma
It is the most common form of Glaucoma that develops slowly and is a lifelong condition and most of the times symptoms and damages go unnoticed
It is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals that results in increased eye pressure
It has a wide and open angle between the iris and cornea
- Angle- Closure Glaucoma
A less common form of Glaucoma having symptoms and damages that are very noticeable
It is caused due to blocked drainage canals that results in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure
Narrow-angle between the iris and cornea
Develops very quickly
It is the most common form of Glaucoma that develops slowly and is a lifelong condition
Someone at a high risk of Glaucoma should get dilated pupil eye examination every year.
Special tests such as Tonometry, Pupil dilation, Visual field testing, Visual acuity test, Ophthalmoscopy, Pachymetry, Gonioscopy, and Optic nerve imaging are carried.
Glaucoma can be treated in the following ways:
Eye drops taken regularly several times a day sometimes in combination with pills.
These medications are given to alter the circulation of eye fluid and lower eye pressure - either by decreasing the production of fluid within the eye, or by increasing the flow leaving the drainage angle.
- LASER SURGERY
Trabeculoplasty is laser treatment effective for Glaucoma treatment
It enhances the eye drainage function to control eye pressure within the eye when treating open-angle glaucoma.
Iridotomy is laser treatment to create tiny holes in the iris to improve the flow of eye fluid to the drain when treating narrow-angle glaucoma.
- OPERATIVE SURGERY
It creates a new bypass drainage channel for the eye fluid to leave the eye.
The new channel helps to lower the eye pressure.
It is done in extreme cases where intraocular pressure is not controlled by medicines or laser surgery.
Several eye-drops will be prescribed for a few weeks
No pain or discomfort is generally experienced by the patients
Patients can resume the normal activities from the following day itself including driving, working on computers, and watching T.V.