Glaucoma Early detection is Curable
One of the leading causes of blindness in India, about 3 percent of the general population have some form of glaucoma
Disease of the eye in which fluid pressure within the eye rises - if left untreated the patient may lose vision, and even become blind. The disease generally affects both eyes, although one may have more severe signs and symptoms than the other.
There is a small space in the front of the eye called the "anterior chamber". Clear liquid flows in-and-out of the anterior chamber, this fluid nourishes and bathes nearby tissues. If a patient has glaucoma, the fluid does not drain properly - it drains too slowly - out of the eye. This leads to fluid build-up, and pressure inside the eye rises. Unless this pressure is brought down and controlled, the optic nerve and other parts of the eye may become damaged, leading to loss of vision.
- Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer
- YAG PL Laser
- Application Tonometry
- Glaucoma Surgery
There is a fluid filled chamber in the front of the eye called the anterior chamber. It is filled with aqueous humour, which bathes and nourishes the tissues of the eye. If the drainage of this fluid is restricted, for reasons yet unknown, pressure builds up within the eye causing glaucoma.
Who is likely to get Glaucoma
One of the leading causes of blindness in India, about 3 percent of the general population have some form of glaucoma.
- Persons over the age of 40 are more likely to develop glaucoma. However, the disease may occur in people of all ages including newborns.
- Persons with myopia, diabetes, systemic hypertension and family history of glaucoma have an increased risk.
In most cases of glaucoma, the patient is not aware of the gradual loss of sight until vision is significantly impaired. However, if glaucoma progresses without adequate treatment, the following symptoms may occur in some individuals:
- Pain around the eyes when coming out from darkness (e.g., as soon as the person comes out of a cinema hall)
- Coloured halo rings seen around light bulbs especially in the mornings and nights
- Frequent change of reading glasses, headaches, pain and redness of the eyes
- Reduced vision in dim illumination and during nights
- Gradual decrease of side vision with progression of glaucoma
- Blurring of vision
The loss of vision due to glaucoma is irreversible. However, appropriate treatment and regular follow-up can preserve residual vision.
Earlier the diagnosis, better the chances of arresting visual impairment.
For most people with glaucoma, regular use of medications will control the increased fluid pressure. However, in some, drugs may stop working after a period of time. In these situations, the ophthalmologist can help by adding or changing medications or by choosing another type of treatment: laser or surgical methods. Periodical eye examinations are therefore essential to ensure that the medications are working.
In some type of glaucomas, called angle closure glaucomas, laser treatment is the primary form of reducing the eye pressure. This is a simple out-patient procedure, which uses a strong beam of light to relieve the fluid pressure.
In open angle type glaucomas, laser treatment is applied only if various medications fail to control the fluid pressure. Medications need to be continued regularly even after laser treatment. Laser treatment has very minimal complications, but its effect in reducing the eye pressure may wear off over time. DRISHTI has also established YAG Laser facility which is the first time done by anyone in private sector in Haldwani. Click to view the picture of YAG Laser.
In some persons with glaucoma, medical or laser treatment is insufficient to arrest glaucoma and surgery is indicated. But this treatment option has its risks and limitations and is reserved as the treatment of last resort. Even after surgical treatment, individuals with glaucoma should continue periodical check-ups by an ophthalmologist and additional medications may be required indefinitely to control eye pressures.