Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma or commonly called ‘Kala Motia’ is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve. Optic nerve transmits information from the eye to the brain so healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision. Glaucoma is also called ‘sneak thief of sight’, as in many cases patient doesn’t have any pain or other symptoms till vision become very poor.

What causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is usually (but not always) is associated with high intraocular pressure (IOP). It can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness if left untreated.
At the front of the eye, there is a small space where clear fluid flows in and out. This clear fluid feeds nearby eye tissue. When the clear fluid flows too slowly, it creates pressure on the optic nerve. This pressure can harm the optic nerve and cause glaucoma and vision loss.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
In its early stages, many times there are no symptoms or pain. As glaucoma gets worse, you may slowly lose your side vision. If it remains untreated, you may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of your eye. It is like looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains.

How is glaucoma detected?
Glaucoma is generally detected through routine eye examinations by your eye specialist. Glaucoma causes a characteristic type of erosion of the optic disc we call cupping, which can be seen when the back of your eye is examined.

What are the types of glaucoma?
The different types of glaucoma are as follows -

  • Chronic open angle glaucoma - Most people with glaucoma however are babies, children and young adults, but these types of glaucoma are rare. Glaucoma becomes much more common as we get older.
  • Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma - This can develop very slowly, like chronic open angle glaucoma or can occur suddenly in the case of Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma, where the eye becomes very red and painful and vision is lost in a matter of days if appropriate treatment is not begun. Acute Glaucoma is the exception of the glaucoma.

How can glaucoma be treated?
The only way by which we can treat glaucoma is by lowering eye pressure. It is also a believer of many doctors that glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be treated to keep it from getting worse. Early treatment is helping in protecting your vision. Eye drops and medicine can help your eyes make less fluid or can help drain the fluid from the eye properly. Laser surgery can also make it easier for fluid to leave the eye. Regular surgery can make a new space where the fluid can drain.

How can you protect your vision?
Try to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam regularly as per need. Early treatment can help keep the disease from getting worse and reduce your risk of vision loss.

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