Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning. Although the most common forms primarily affect the middle-aged and the elderly, glaucoma can affect people of all ages. “If left untreated glaucoma can result in irreversible blindness.”
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve connects our eye to the brain, so that the brain receives and perceives the images. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision.
According to WHO, there are 70 million people worldwide with glaucoma and around 4.5 million people are bilaterally blind. In India approximately 11.2 million people > 40 years of age are suffering from glaucoma among which 6.48 million people have primary open angle glaucoma and 2.54 million people are suffering from angle closure glaucoma. In south India the prevalence of glaucoma is 2.6% on average sadly 90% the patient are not aware of their disease, till advanced or blind stage.
Anybody can have glaucoma, but there are certain groups who are prone to develop glaucoma, these are
Clear liquid called aqueous humor circulates inside the front portion of the eye. To maintain a healthy level of pressure within the eye, a small amount of this fluid is produced constantly while an equal amount flows out of the eye through a microscopic drainage system. (This liquid is not part of the tears on the outer surface of the eye.) Because the eye is a closed structure, if the drainage area for the aqueous humor –called the drainage angle – is blocked, the excess fluid cannot flow out of the eye. Fluid pressure within the eye increases pushing against the optic nerve and causing damage.
At first, there are no symptoms. Vision stays normal till the advanced stage. First the patient loses his side vision, if remain untreated complete vision is lost and the damage is irreversible even after the treatment. Symptom of angle closure glaucoma include severe pain and nausea, as well as redness of the eye and blurred vision. If you have these symptoms, you need to seek treatment immediately as this is a medical emergency.
Visual acuity test. This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances. Tonometry. An instrument measures the pressure inside the eye. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test. Visual field test. This test measures your side (peripheral) vision. It helps your eye care professional tell if you have lost side vision, a sign of glaucoma. Dilated eye exam. Drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of damage and other eye problems. Pachymetry. Your eye care professional uses an ultrasonic wave instrument to measure the thickness of your cornea Retinal scan(OCT)- To check the change in thickness of your retina Fundus photography-Photograph of your retina is taken for future reference to document any change in your nerve.
Lotus Eye Hospital & Institute in Coimbatore, Ernakulam, Salem, Mettupalayam, Tirupur provides world class care to our patients. Our glaucoma clinic is well equipped for all the diagnostic and treatment procedures.