Don't Let Glaucoma Steal Your Eye Sight!
Read here to know everything
MS, DNB, FRCS (Glasg.) FAICO (Glaucoma)
Dr. Vijay Shetty has performed several advanced glaucoma surgeries (Trabeculectomy and Ahmed Glaucoma Valve Tube surgeries) He also has an experience in minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) including HFDS.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye, wherein optic nerve is damaged due to increase in eye pressure. Normal eye pressure is between 10-20mm of mercury, pressure above 20 increases the risk of optic nerve damaged leading to Glaucoma.
Find all your answers below!
Dr. Vijay Shetty has compiled videos for you answering all your Glaucoma related queries.
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
Silent thief of vision
Most often glaucoma has no symptoms in the early stage of the disease hence it is referred to as Silent thief of vision. Normally it effects the peripheral vision first and progresses towards the central vision
Acute angle-closure glaucoma
- Severe headache
- Eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Colored haloes
- Eye redness
If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Even with treatment, about 15 percent of people with glaucoma become blind in at least one eye within 20 years.
- Patchy blind spots in your side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes
- Tunnel vision in the advanced stages
According to the National Eye Institute of the National Institute of Health, more than 4 million people in the United States have glaucoma. (http://www.nei.nih.gov/news/briefs/glaucoma_awareness.asp)
Use of steriods
Higher spectacle power +/-
WHY DOES GLAUCOMA HAPPEN?
Most common cause of glaucoma is advancing in age, The risk of having glaucoma increases 3-4 folds if first degree relative is affected by glaucoma. At the age of 40 the prevalence of glaucoma in general population is 1%, which increases to 2% at 50 and 3% at 60 yrs of age. People with higher power +/- in their spectacles are at high risk for developing glaucoma other reasons are, injury to the eye, use of steroids in any form (eye drops, ointment, steroid tablets, steroid injections, steroid inhalers and other dieases of the eye like Uveitis etc.
HOW DO YOU DIAGNOSE A GLAUCOMA?
Early diagnosis of glaucoma is usually done by undergoing eye examination by an eye specialist. The eye specialists checks eye pressure, angle of the anterior chamber and optic nerve appearance to look for evidence of glaucoma, further tests like perimetry (field of vision) and OCT for Optic nerve analysis are done to confirm the diagnosis of Glaucoma
CAN YOU PREVENT OR REVERSE GLAUCOMA?
Glaucoma is a very slowly progressing disease, diagnosis of glaucoma is not as straight forward as other diseases, both over diagnosis and under diagnosis is common, according to AAO (American academy of ophthalmogy) 50% of patients with early glaucoma go undiagnosed and 50% of patients on anti-glaucoma medication do not need treatment, so hence the diagnosis of glaucoma may need more than 1 visit and certain tests in border line cases. Optic nerve damage leading on to loss in vision in glaucoma is not reversible but its further progression can be halted by controlling the eye pressure.
Hence it is very crucial to diagnose the disease at an early stage. Yearly eye screening after the age of 40 by an eye specialist can help in early diagnosis of glaucoma.
Avoid usage of Steroids
Over use of steroids in an form is very harmful to our body as it has very severe complications from heart failure to liver and eye diseases.
Avoid eye injuries
Experts say more than 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented by simply taking a few precautions and wearing safety glasses.
Uveitis in otherwise healthy people is difficult to prevent since the cause isn't known. Early detection and treatment are important to reduce the risk of vision loss, which can be permanent.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF GLAUCOMA?
Galucoma occurring after the age of 40 is either Open angle Glaucoma or Closed angle glaucoma. In open angle glaucoma the angle through which the fluid inside the eye is drained out is open however there is an increase in resistance in the outflow of the fluid. In angle closure of glaucoma the drainage angle is closed and hence the pressure is very high compared to the open angle glaucoma. Vision loss in angle closure glaucoma is faster than open eye glaucoma. In very rare cases glaucoma can be present at birth (Congenital glaucoma) or at an early age around 12-20 years (Juvenile open angle glaucoma)
WHAT IS THE TREATEMENT FOR GLAUCOMA?
The first line of treatment for open angle glaucoma is anti glaucoma medication in the form of eye drops, specific laser called SLT (Selective laser trabeculoplasty) is done in open eye glaucoma, if the above treatement fails then surgery in the form of trabeculectomy or tube implant is done.
In closed angle glaucoma, the first line of treatment is laser in the form of YAG laser Iridotomy is done, further line of management is similar to opne eye glaucoma
Take Action to Prevent Vision Loss :
- If you are in a high-risk group, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam to catch glaucoma early and start treatment. Prescription eye drops can stop glaucoma from progressing. Your eye care specialist will recommend how often to return for follow-up exams. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once a year for people in high-risk groups.
- Even if you are not in a high-risk group, getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam by the age of 40 can help catch glaucoma and other eye diseases early.
- Open-angle glaucoma does not have symptoms and is hereditary, so talk to your family members about their vision health to help protect your eyes—and theirs.
- Maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood pressure, being physically active, and avoiding smoking will help you avoid vision loss from glaucoma. These healthy behaviors will also help prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions.