Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that over 74 million people are affected by the disease and nearly 10% of them are blind. Lack of awareness about glaucoma and misunderstandings about the disease are the main reasons why most cases remain undetected.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of disorders in which fluid pressure within the eye increases to a level causing irreversible and progressive damage to the vision (optic) nerve that connects the eye to the brain to transmit visual images. Damage to the optic nerve results in irreversible blindness if left untreated.
Normal tension glaucoma is a variant of POAG in which there is damage to the optic nerves although the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is normal. Glaucoma is often referred to as it can strike without any symptoms. However, some glaucoma patients may suffer symptoms like:
Severe eye pain in case of angle closure glaucoma
Seeing coloured halos around lights
Frequent change of reading glasses
Types of Glaucoma
There are two major types of glaucoma:Congenital Glaucoma is known to occur in children born with malformations in the angle of the eye. It can be detected by symptoms such as large cloudy eyes, severe sensitivity to light and excessive tearing or watery eyes.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG): This is the most common type of glaucoma and is mostly asymptomatic, the damage occurs gradually.
Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma (PACG): This type with shallow or closed angles of anterior chamber sometimes present with sudden onset of red and painful eyes and would lead to blindness if not treated immediately.
Treatment for Glaucoma
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. The aim of the treatment is to reduce eye pressure using eye drops and medicines. In few patients, laser treatment is given to open up the drainage area for the fluid. In severe cases, conventional surgery is performed to create a new drainage path.
At Vasan Eye Care the patient is investigated thoroughly with the use of Perimetry and/or Ocular coherence tomography (OCT) and then the treatment is personalised to suit the patient’s requirements to maintain his vision and quality of life.