Glaucoma is an emerging leading cause of blindness and it is referred as a thief of vision that steals the beam of life leaving it filled with profound darkness. In view of alarming rise in number of cases of Glaucoma, experts say that regular eye check can detect this deadly disease and early detection and diagnosis can only prevent. Experts say that Glaucoma is an extremely serious eye disorder which can cause blindness if not treated early.
Dr. Sanjay Dhawan, Director, Ophthalmology, Fortis Healthcare says, “Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve, the essential part of eye that carries images to the brain. In healthy eyes, a clear liquid circulates in the front portion of the eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, the eye keeps producing a small amount of fluid. While in glaucoma condition, the fluid does not flow properly through the drainage system, which increases the pressure. This extra force presses on the optic nerve in the back of the eye, causing damage to the nerve fibres.
There are mainly two types of Glaucoma condition
CHRONIC GLAUCOMA: The most common is chronic glaucoma in which the aqueous fluid can get to the drainage channels (open angle) but they slowly become blocked over many years. The eye pressure rises very slowly and there is no pain to show there is a problem, but the field of vision gradually becomes impaired. ACUTE GLAUCOMA: Acute glaucoma is much less common, this happens when there is a sudden and more complete blockage to the flow of aqueous fluid to the eye.
This is because a narrow “angle” closes to prevent fluid ever getting to the drainage channels. This is quite painful and can cause permanent damage to sight if not treated promptly. However, if adequate and appropriate measures are taken early in the course of disease, blindness from glaucoma can be prevented. So the key message to provide is that Glaucoma should be taken seriously. Early diagnosis and regular eye check up can only prevent you from lifelong blindness.
As the symptoms of Glaucoma are not visible, the most efficient method for detection is regular eye examination. Therefore, as glaucoma becomes common over the age of 40 one should have regular eye tests at least every two years. The only way to protect one from vision loss due to glaucoma is by early detection.
Treatment of glaucoma
Glaucoma can be managed if detected early, and that with medical and surgical treatment. Eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods are used for the treatment. TRABECULECTOMY: It’s a kind of Filteration surgery, a piece of tissue in the drainage angle of the eye is removed creating an opening.
This new opening allows fluid to drain out of the eye, bypassing the clogged drainage. This is not a major surgery; patient doesn’t need to stay in hospital following surgery. GLAUCOMA DRAINAGE IMPLANT: Glaucoma drainage implants play an important role in the management of refractory glaucoma. It is not used to improve vision, but to preserve vision by lowering the intraocular pressure.