Glaucoma is caused due to increased pressure inside the eye. It is a dangerous eye disorder, which can permanently damage the nerves that supply visual information to the brain from the eye (Known as optic nerve) which could make a person blind. Glaucoma, also known as silent thief of sight, is the second leading cause of blindness in the world after Cataract. The exact mechanism that causes optic nerve damage due to intraocular pressure is yet to be known.
Normally eye pressure vary hourly, daily and weekly. This variation in intraocular pressure is normal where and it ranges between 12-22 mm Hg.
A survey done globally in 2010 showed 60.5 million people are affected with Glaucoma, and it is expected to rise up to 79.6 million by 2020.
Glaucoma is painless and does not affect one's daily activities, hence it goes undetected, but visual symptoms often occur very late. Vision loss in Glaucoma is very silent, progressive and irreversible.
People at risk are, those who are aged above 50 and having a similar family history.
There are two main types of Glaucoma.
Other less common types are
1. Normal-pressure Glaucoma
2. Congenital Glaucoma
3. Secondary Glaucoma
4. Pigmentary Glaucoma
5. Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma
6. Traumatic Glaucoma
7. Neovascular Glaucoma
8. Irido Corneal
9. Endothelial Syndrome
Test for Glaucoma includes
1. Testing Inner eye pressure
2. Shape and color of the optic nerve
3. Complete field of vision
4. Angle in the eye, between iris and cornea
5. Thickness of the cornea
6. Thickness of the nerve fiber layer
How can we prevent Glaucoma?
Since the cause of Glaucoma is unknown, it cannot be prevented. But the complications caused due to Glaucoma can be stopped when intervened at the right time.The key to preserve vision is timely diagnosis and treatment, through regular complete eye examinations. Glaucoma, if left untreated causes irreversible blindness.
Treatment for Glaucoma
The treatment is to reduce eye pressure, to slow down the worsening optic nerve damage, to safeguard visual function and preserve quality of life.
Glaucoma treatment allows the patient to maintain independence and improve quality of life. The objective of the treatment also includes to prevent glaucomatous damage and damage of the nerve and preserve field of vision and quality of life.
Treatment for balance and postural control may also require in some cases.
The treatment program includes :
2. Surgery, Canaloplasty, Laser surgery, Trabeculectomy, Glaucoma drainage implants, Laser-assisted non penetrating deep sclerectomy, etc.
The choice of treatment depends on the doctor and condition of the patient.