Glaucoma – A Preventable Blindness
A painless, and gradual loss of vision is what we call ‘Glaucoma’. There are several types of glaucoma, and there may be myriad reasons for this disease. Apparently, glaucoma is a combination of multiple activities. These activities ultimately damage your eye’s optic nerve. This optic nerve is one of the most important components of your eyes that sends images/signal (captured by your eyes) to your brain.
Why does anyone face this problem?
There are two main reasons of Glaucoma in your eyes:
- Due to some deficiency lies in your eye’s optic disc which is less common.
- Due to general deficiency lies in your eyes which is more common.
The general defect may include damage in your eye’s optic nerve, due to sudden increase in eye pressure. This sudden increase in pressure is caused by incredibly reduce adequate supply of blood to your optic nerve which further damages optic nerve cells of your eyes.
There may be several other causes of glaucoma. Some of the reasons may be following:
- Damaged drainage structure of your eye, due to some accidents.
- Due to some problems in previous eye surgery.
- Inflammation in your eyes.
- Swelling in your eyes.
- Medicinal side effects (for example – steroids).
- Diseases such as diabetes may cause Glaucoma.
- In addition, complications of uncontrolled hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia may also cause Glaucoma.
Through comprehensive, and regular eye exams, one can detect Glaucoma at the early stage.
Experienced eye specialists recommend comprehensive eye exams:
- before age 40, every two to four years
- from age 40 to age 54, every one to three years
- from age 55 to 64, every one to two years
- after age 65, every six to 12 months
Most importantly, if someone has family history of Glaucoma then he or she must be tested every year or two after age 35. To be safe and accurate, our eye specialists recommend five tests before making a Glaucoma diagnosis:
- Tonometry – This is a process of measuring inner eye pressure before the Glaucoma test.
- Ophthalmoscopy – This test maps color, and shape of your eye’s optic nerve.
- Perimetry – This test maps complete field of vision.
- Gonioscopy – This test measures angle in your eyes where iris of your eyes meets the cornea.
- Pachymetry – This test measures thickness of the cornea
In addition, as part of periodic glaucoma check-ups, our eye specialists recommend two routine eye tests: ophthalmoscopy, and tonometry.
Most of the treatments for glaucoma are designed to control and/or lower intraocular pressure (IOP). As mentioned earlier, this pressure damages the optic nerve, which is responsible to transmits visual information from your eyes to your brain. Our optometrists may treat Glaucoma with pills, eye drops, traditional surgery, and laser surgery. They may also treat this disease with a combination of all said methods. The ultimate aim of their treatment is to prevent loss of vision, because vision loss (especially due to glaucoma) is irreversible. However, the good news is that Glaucoma (if detected at the early stage) can be treated with surgical and/or medical treatment.