Glaucoma treatment in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Glaucoma treatment in Johannesburg, South AfricaGlaucoma treatment in Johannesburg, South AfricaGlaucoma treatment in Johannesburg, South Africa

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a very important eye condition which is most seen in middle age patients. It is also familial. About 3-5% of the population suffers from Glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease which can lead to loss of sight (field of vision) to the point of blindness. Glaucoma is mainly caused by elevated intraocular pressure. This pressure damages neuro-optic nerves which can even die off if the pressure persists.

Intra ocular pressure is not the only possible cause of glaucoma. Damage to the optic nerve can occur even in people with normal intraocular pressure. This is why it is so important to have regular checks as this disease can lead to irreversible loss in sight.

To date there is no cure for glaucoma but due to great medical advances blindness can be avoided by regular examinations and proper therapeutic measures.

Symptoms

Most adults develop chronic open angle glaucoma which develops slowly over time. Patients gradually loose sight totally unaware of the problem until the optic nerve has been badly damaged. No symptoms occur and regular examinations by an Ophthalmologist is important.

Other types of glaucoma are Congenital where the drainage openings are abnormal in an infants eye. These infants are normally very sensitive to light and the eyes tear excessively. The corneas of the eyes are normally cloudy.

Another type of glaucoma is angle-closure glaucoma. This occurs where outflow of fluid is blocked. Fluid backs up and increases the pressure. Symptoms are severe pain , blurred vision, halos, nausea and vomiting. Blindness can result within three days if not properly treated.

Other conditions such as injury,tumours, inflammation certain medications eye surgery where the pupil way get blocked can result in secondary glaucoma.

Treatment

Glaucoma is controlled with eyedrops to reduce the intraocular pressure and to improve the blood flow to the optic nerve.

Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible but eyedrops, tablets and surgery are used to prevent further damage to the eye and preserve existing vision. Sometimes laser is used depending on the type of glaucoma or if medication is poorly tolerated.

The most common surgery done is called a trabeculectomy whereby a permanent tunnel is formed to keep the pressure of the eye at a constant level.

You should consult an Ophthalmologist if there is any decrease in vision or recurrent eye pain. Also if you are over 35 years of age. When diagnosed early glaucoma can be treated and vision preserved.

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