GLAUCOMA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What are The Types of Glaucoma?
 
There are two main kinds:
Open-angle glaucoma. It’s the most common type. Your doctor may also call it wide-angle glaucoma. The drain structure in your eye -- it’s called the trabecular meshwork -- looks normal, but fluid doesn’t flow out like it should.
Angle-closure glaucoma. It’s less common in the West than in Asia. You may also hear it called acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. Your eye doesn’t drain right because the drain space between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow. This can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in your eye. It’s also linked to farsightedness and cataracts, a clouding of the lens inside your eye.
 
What are the Symptoms?
 
Most people don’t have any. The first sign is often a loss of peripheral, or side, vision. That can go unnoticed until late in the disease. That’s why glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of vision."
Detecting glaucoma early is one reason you should have a complete exam with an eye specialist every 1 to 2 years. Occasionally, pressure inside the eye can rise to severe levels. In these cases, you may have sudden eye pain, headache, blurred vision, or the appearance of halos around lights.
If you have any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical care:
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Vision loss
  • Redness in the eye
  • Eye that looks hazy (particularly in infants)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Eye pain
  • Narrowed vision (tunnel vision)
 
How is Glaucoma Treated?
 
Your doctor may use prescription eye drops, laser surgery, or microsurgery to lower pressure in the eye.
Eye drops. These either reduce the formation of fluid in the eye or increase its outflow, thereby lowering eye pressure. Side effects may include allergies, redness, stinging, blurred vision, and irritated eyes. Some glaucoma drugs may affect your heart and lungs. Be sure to tell your doctor about any other medications you’re taking or are allergic to.
Laser surgery. This procedure can slightly increase the flow of the fluid from the eye for people with open-angle glaucoma. It can stop fluid blockage if you have angle-closure glaucoma. Procedures include:
  • Trabeculoplasty: Opens the drainage area
  • Iridotomy: Makes a tiny hole in the iris to let fluid flow more freely
  • Cyclophotocoagulation: Treats areas of the middle layer of your eye to reduce fluid production
Microsurgery. In a procedure called a trabeculectomy, the doctor creates a new channel to drain the fluid and ease eye pressure. Sometimes this form of glaucoma surgery fails and has to be redone. Your doctor might implant a tube to help drain fluid. Surgery can cause temporary or permanent vision loss, as well as bleeding or infection.
Open-angle glaucoma is most often treated with various combinations of eye drops, laser trabeculoplasty, and microsurgery. Doctors in the U.S. tend to start with medications, but there’s evidence that early laser surgery or microsurgery could work better for some people.
 
 
 
Glaucoma
 
Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy associated with characteristic structural damage to optic nerve and associated visual dysfunction, which are seen clinically as enlargement of optic disc cup and loss of field of vision. Although not "curable", glaucoma is treatable and the primary objective of glaucoma therapy is to prevent progressive vision loss, disability, and blindness. Glaucoma affects side vision first (peripheral vision) and as it progresses, central vision is lost. There are 3 main types; open angle glaucoma, angle closure glaucoma, congenital/hereditary. Glaucoma is becoming an increasingly important cause of blindness, as the world’s population ages.is second leading cause of blindness globally, after cataract. Is even greater public health challenge than cataract, because the blindness it cause irreversible.
 
Who gets Glaucoma?
 
It mostly affects adults over 40, but young adults, children, and even infants can have it. African-Americans tend to get it more often, when they're younger, and with greater vision loss.
You’re more likely to get it if you:
  • Are of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent
  • Are over 40
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Have poor vision
  • Have diabetes
  • Take certain steroid medications, like prednisone
  • Have had trauma to the eye or eyes
 
How is it Diagnosed?
 
Your eye doctor will use drops to open (he’ll call it dilate) your pupils. Then he’ll test your vision and examine your eyes. He’ll check your optic nerve, and if you have glaucoma, it will look a certain way. He may take photographs of the nerve to help him track your disease over time. He’ll do a test called tonometry to check your eye pressure. He’ll also do a visual field test, and/or OCT, if necessary, to figure out if you've lost your side, or peripheral, vision. Glaucoma tests are painless and take very little time.
 
Is Glaucoma Preventable?
 
No. But if you diagnose and treat it early, you can control the disease.
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