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Glaucoma

Glaucoma accounts for 3% of blindness in India. It is an eye disease in which the pressure of the eye rises to a point that the optic nerve becomes damaged.

The pressure that builds up occurs because too much fluid is formed or because the channel in the eye through which the fluid normally drains is blocked.

Glaucoma is damaging to sight as the elevated pressure can constrict the blood vessels that nourish the sensitive nerve structures at the back of the eye.

The vast majority of cases develop slowly and the patient is normally not aware of the gradual loss of sight until vision is significantly impaired.

Forms of Glaucoma

Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma:-
This accounts for the majority of glaucoma in most countries. It affects mainly the elderly but can also affect the middle-aged. Relatives of people with glaucoma have a higher risk of having the disease, as there is usually a hereditary factor involved.

Glaucoma progresses slowly and often goes unnoticed for many months or years. Many people are unaware that their eyesight is deteriorating as a person’s straight ahead vision and reading vision remains good initially, but there is a gradual loss of night vision and side vision.

This condition usually responds well to treatment but in a few cases, surgery is required to clear the blockage in the duct through which the fluid drains.

Acute or Angle-Closure Glaucoma:-
This is the most common type of glaucoma in India, which commonly affects the middle-aged, and the elderly, especially women. It involves a sudden, drastic increase of pressure in the eye. If not treated immediately, it can result in permanent damage to the eye in a very short time. Unlike chronic glaucoma, acute glaucoma often has very marked symptoms such as severe pain in the eye, blurred vision, redness, the appearance of haloes around lights and vomiting.

Congenital Glaucoma:-
This type of glaucoma is rare and occurs at birth. Enlargement of the infant’s eyes, tearing and unusual sensitivity to light are symptoms that indicate the need for an ophthalmological examination.

Secondary Glaucoma:-
Secondary glaucoma is caused by other conditions such as inflammation of the eye,tumours, eye surgery, injuries or cataracts in their advanced stages.

Treatment

The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the greater the chances of success in preventing vision loss. Although glaucoma cannot be cured, in most cases it can be successfully controlled. The type of therapy depends on the form of glaucoma and may be administered by medication (eye drops or tablets), surgery or laser therapy.

It is important to remember that a normal pressure after treatment implies that the condition is controlled rather than cured. Therefore, a patient should be followed up regularly by an eye specialist to prevent further loss of vision.

Know More ‘The Final step’

Information given above provides only a preliminary introduction to Glaucoma & its forms Finding out more about it is the next step towards visual independence. This is accomplished by calling Dr. Hardia Hospital for a consultation with doctor.