Glaucoma is a disease often called “The Silent Thief of Vision”. This occurs when the pressure inside the eye increases causing damage to the Optic nerve and leading to permanent and irreversible loss of vision. It requires early diagnosis and treatment to prevent loss of vision. Generally, both eyes are involved, and it runs in family. The pressure as well as the nourishment of the eye is maintained by the secretion of Aqueous humor. This fluid flows across the front part of the eye before draining out of the eye. In people with glaucoma, this drainage path is partially or completely blocked causing the pressure to build up. This damages the optic nerve leading to slow vision loss.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive eye disease caused by damage to the optic nerve, which leads to visual field loss. One of the major risk factors is eye pressure. An abnormality in the eye’s drainage system can cause fluid to build up, leading to excessive pressure that causes damage to the optic nerve.
Risk Factors For Galucoma
open-angle glaucoma is a common form of glaucoma. Also In this type, the aqueous drainage is clogged at the trabecular meshwork. Usually, this type is asymptomatic.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma Here the blockage is due to narrow angles between the cornea & the iris. There is a sudden increase in intraocular pressure, which may cause
- Intermittent blurring
- Severe eye pain & redness
- Headache & brow ache
- Rainbows like haloes around lights
- Nausea and vomiting
Glaucoma Childhood: Developmental or congenital glaucoma is caused by an abnormality that is present since birth. Symptoms are large eyes in childhood, unable to see ordinary light, misty appearance of the eyes, and jerky eye movements.
Sign & Symptoms Of Glaucoma
Eye drops are the first line of treatment and need to be used lifelong. Depending on the severity, it may have to be used once or several times a day, sometimes in combination.
Nd YAG iridotomy: In angle-closure glaucoma, the laser is used to create a hole in the iris to improve the flow of aqueous and give adequate & permanent results. This is to be done generally in both eyes.
When surgery is needed to control clinically nonresponsive glaucoma, or when it needs to be done along with Phaco IOL surgery, a new drainage channel is created through which the aqueous fluid can leave the eye. This lowers the IOP and effectively controls glaucoma in most patients.
Diagnostics & Management
Dr Anil Kumars eye hospital is equipped with the latest technology to identify glaucoma at an early stage to prevent loss of vision
Topcon Not Contact Tonometry (Japan): To measure the pressure inside the eye
Hagg Streit Applanation Tonometry (Swiss): Gold standard in measuring the eye pressure
Gonioscopy 2 mirror: Is essential to see the angle of the anterior chamber and to visualize abnormalities in the drainage path.
Alcon Pachymetry (USA): To measure the thickness of the cornea, and is a guide to calculate the appropriate target intraocular pressure
Carl Zeiss Visual field analyzer (Germany): This is the gold standard for analyzing the visual fields to see the extent of loss of side vision. The efficacy of control with the eye drops is also assessed by repeating the visual fields yearly.