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.
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
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.
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