Glaucoma Understanding

While some of you may have just discovered that you have Glaucoma, others may be further ahead, in the process of adjusting and learning to live with Glaucoma. This booklet has been specially devised, to show you how you too can successfully manage Glaucoma to live a normal and fulfilling life. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Approximately two percent of the population have this disease. Unlike the visual loss caused by cataract, that caused by Glaucoma is irreversible. But fortunately early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can prevent visual loss in most cases.

Understanding the Condition

What is Glaucoma?

Glaumoca is a disease of the optic nerve head caused by too much pressure in the eye.

How does this happen?

The inside of the eye contains fluid that is constantly into and being drained out of the eye. Think of the eye as a sink with a tap that is always open. The water flows through if the drainage mechanism is working alright. The trouble arises when the drainage is blocked and water begins to collect. When the drainage mechanism gets blocked, it results in fluid collecting in the eye. As the fluid builds up , it begins to exert pressure inside the eye. This pressure is refered to as intraocular (IOP). Just as abnormally high blood pressure affects affects the body adversely IOP which builds up to an abnormally high level can harm the eye.

How is it spotted?

Glaucoma is a disease which cannot be seen or felt by the patient in the early stage. It is usually spotted during the course of a routine eye check-up. The damage appears a gradual visual change and then los of vision. Perpheral vision that is the top, sides and bootom areas of vision are affected first and central vision which the patient perceives, remains intact till the last stage.

Are there different types?

There are basically tow types of glaucoma. CHORONIC OR OPEN ANGLE GLAUCOMA: This is the most common type. It is painless and there are no warning symptoms. It progresses very slowly and often, by the time it is spotted some amount of damage has already occurred. ACUTE OR ANGLE-CLOSURE GLAUCOMA: Here the eye pressure rises acutely due to sudden closure of drainage channels. such sudden closure can occur in eyes with narrow angles, when pupils are enlarged by certain medications, or in a darkened room. Patients present with severe hadache, eye pain redness, watering, nausea & blurred vision. They demand a prompt and emergency medical treatment. Other rarer forms of Glaucoma include those which occur secondary to injury or inflammation. Low tension glaucoma in which optic nerve damage occurs at near normal pressures & Developmental Glaucoma’s which occur in infants.

Who is at risk?

-People above 40 years. -Those with family history of glaucoma -Diabetes & systemic hypertension

Diagnosing Glaucoma

Most people discover that they have glaucoma during routine examination. There are 4 tests used to diagnose and monitor the progression of glaucoma. 1.Tonometry : To measure IOP 2.Gonioscopy: To differentiate the types of glaucoma 3.Opthalmoscopy : To view the optic nerve changes 4.Permetry : To map the visual field of each eye.

Prevention and care

Is there a cure?

Once diagnosed as a glaucoma patient, you require constant and lifelong care. Although glaucoma can be controlled, any damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed. Glaucoma can be successfully controlled with eye drops, pills, laser and surgical operations to prevent further damage.

Method of Treatment

How effective is medication?

The most common treatment of choice for glaucoma is medication. Medications can work in two ways. One is to increase the drainage of fluid in the eye while the other is to decrease the production of fluid in the eye.

When surgery an option?

Surgery is necessary in developmental Glaucoma & in adults when medicines do not adequately control IOP.

LASER TREATMENT:

Makes use of laser beam to cerate and alternate pathway for the drainage of fluid by a painless out patient procedure. Glaucoma , is a disease that has to tbe constantly monitored and controlled. But, as you can see, most people with glaucoma live active, unrestricted lives simply by taking care of themselves and giving their eyes the quality care and attention they need.
If you wish to know about glaucoma or treatments available, you are most welcome to approach your doctor. Remember that he is your primary guide to controlling Glaucoma.

Facilities available at our hospital for diagnosis and treatment of Glaucoma

1. Slitlamp Biomicroscopy
- For examination of the front part of the eye under magnification
2. Schiotz & Applanation Tonometers
- to measure IOP
3. Goldmann 3 mirror & 4 mirror Gonioiens
- is for gonioscopy
4. 90D lens
- to view the optic disc
5. Humphrey computerises visual field analyser
- for testing the visual field
6. Zeis YAG laser
- for laser iridotomy
7. Topcon (Japan) operating microscope
- for microsurgical procedures
8. Iridex green laser
- for

Features at Ammayi Eye hospital

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