Glaucoma care at Roshni Eye Hospital
Glaucoma care at Roshni Eye Hospital

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of IRREVERSIBLE blindness in India.It is estimated that there are more than 60 million cases of glaucoma worldwide and it will increase to 80 million by 2020. In India alone, it affects around 12 million people while still a majority remain undiagnosed.Early Diagnosis and treatment prevents blindness.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition of the eye where the optic nerve is damaged because of an increase in the eye pressure.

The cause of Glaucoma
The cause of Glaucoma

What Happens in Glaucoma?
The inside of the eye has A clear fluid supplies nutrition to the inside of the eye.It is formed and drained from the eye in a continuous process.When the drainage reduces or is hampered or the formation exceeds drainage (this is a rare occurance)the pressure inside the eye(Intra Ocular Pressure: IOP) rises that causes damage to the optic nerve.

What changes happen in glaucoma?
1. Increased IOP
2. Optic Nerve Changes: loss of nerve fibres
3. Progressive, Patchy loss of vision (field defects)which core;ates with the optic nerve damage
4. Loss of vision ,changes in cornea happen in late stages
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
1. People having glaucoma usually have no eye complaints
2. Some have repeated episodes of headaches
3. Some may have nausea,vomiting,blurring of vision or haloes around light.

Visual defects due to glaucoma
Visual defects due to glaucoma

How do I know I have glaucoma?
95% of people having glaucoma do not know that they have glaucoma.It is a slowly progressive blinding disease and hence aptly called as “thief of sight”

Q: Can it be prevented?
A: No it cannot be prevented. But it can be diagnosed early and managed in time. Everyone above 40 years should visit an eye specialist and not stop with a visit to an optician.

Q: What are the risk factors?
A: If you
• have blood relatives with glaucoma
• have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, or thyroid disease
• are near sighted
• are on treatment with steroids (in the form of tablets, skin ointments, inhalers, eye drops)
• have a history of trauma
You will need an early check up if you have any of the above symptoms.

Q: What are the tests for Glaucoma?
A: Tests help in finding out the presence of glaucoma and also its progression in the subsequent follow up visits.All tests are painfree and easy.
These tests include;
• Tonometry: To measure the pressure in the eye
• Gonioscopy: To assess the drainage angle
• Ophthalmoscopy: To view the optic nerve
• Pachymetry: To check the thickness of cornea
• Perimetry (Visual Field Analysis): To assess the field of vision

Q: What is the treatment of Glaucoma?
A: Most glaucomas are NOT TREATED but are managed/controlled so as to prevent damage or halt the process of damage as the damage is not reversible. The Management includes medicines, laser or surgery either alone or in a combination depending upon the response.
The medicines either decrease the production of the fluid or increase the drainage of the fluid so as to keep the eye pressure under control as determined by your doctor. You may need lifelong treatment as per the instructions given by doctor.
Lasers are used in the treatment of glaucoma to increase the flow of fluid.
When Medical treatment fails,surgery may become necessary.

Q: Can vision lost due to glaucoma be restored?
A: Treatment of glaucoma aims at preserving the existing vision; it does not restore the vision that is already lost.Therefore early detection and management are very important.

Q: How important are follow up visits to the doctor?
A: Glaucoma is not treated.It is always managed – either by medicines /Laser/Surgery.Therefore it becomes mandatory to follow up with the doctor at regular intervals.Usually every 3-4 months or as advised, to monitor that the eye pressures are well controlled and no further damage is happening to the eye.