Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, globally. It is a case of typical optic neuropathy (optic nerve damage) which results in progressive visual-field loss. If and when detected early, the patient can be treated and further vision loss prevented. Leaving glaucoma untreated leads to definite and irreversible loss of vision.
Risk Factors for Developing Glaucoma
- Family history of Glaucoma
- Mature Cataract
- Trauma/ Injury to eyes
- Retinal diseases
People over 45 years of age are suggested to get their eyes examined regularly at a frequency of once in one to two years.
Unfortunately, majority patients remain asymptomatic till major damage has occurred. However, the following symptoms are an alarm-bell for you to get your eyes checked immediately.
- Blurred vision
- Acute eye pain with nausea and vomiting
- Rainbow-halo seen around lights
- Pain around eyes after watching TV
- Redness in eyes
Detection and Treatment
During examination, the patient is investigated using tools such as Perimetry, Ocular Coherence Tomography etc. If detected with Glaucoma, a personalized methodological plan of treatment follows.
The aim of treatment is to reduce the pressure within the eye (Intra Ocular Pressure, IOP). Eye drops, tablets, laser treatment and surgical intervention are some techniques used to prevent or slow down further damage. As mentioned earlier, damage already set in cannot be reversed.
Regular and periodic examination is the key for a good prognosis. Detailed investigation, commonly referred to as ‘Glaucoma Work Up’ (including tests like Perimetry, IOP, OCT, Disc photography etc.) is required as least once a year to assess the affectivity of treatment. The mode of treatment may need to be changed from time to time along the course of treatment.