What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve, which is essential for proper vision. Excessively high pressure in the eye is frequently the source of this damage. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness in persons over 60. It can strike anyone at any age, but it is more common in the elderly. Many types of glaucoma have no symptoms. Because the effect is so gradual, one may not notice any changes in vision until the problem increases.


Types

Glaucoma can be classified as follows

  • Open-Angle glaucoma : The most prevalent type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. The trabecular meshwork is partially blocked, but the drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris remains open. As a result, the pressure in the eye increases. The optic nerve is damaged by this pressure. It happens so slowly that one can lose vision before understanding anything is wrong.
  • Glaucoma with angle-closure : When the iris bulges forward, it narrows or blocks the drainage angle produced by the cornea and iris, causing angle-closure glaucoma. Fluid cannot circulate through the eye and pressure rises. People with small drainage angles are more likely to develop angle-closure glaucoma. Angle-closure glaucoma can develop quickly (acute angle-closure glaucoma) or gradually (progressive angle-closure glaucoma) (chronic angle-closure glaucoma).
  • Glaucoma with normal tension : Even though eye pressure is within the usual range, the optic nerve is injured with normal-tension glaucoma. No one knows why this is happening. It's possible that one may have a sensitive optic nerve or that the optic nerve isn't getting enough blood. Atherosclerosis, the accumulation of fatty deposits (plaque) in the arteries, or other disorders that hinder circulation could be to blame.
  • Pigmentary glaucoma : Pigment granules from the iris build up in the drainage channels in pigmentary glaucoma, delaying or stopping the fluid from exiting the eye. Jogging can mix up pigment granules, causing them to settle on the trabecular meshwork and producing occasional pressure increases.
  • Glaucoma in children : Glaucoma can develop in both newborns and children. It might be present from birth or evolve over time. Drainage blockages or an underlying medical issue could cause optic nerve injury.

Glaucoma symptoms

Glaucoma signs and symptoms vary depending on the kind and stage of the disease. For instance

  • Headache
  • Eye pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Vision gets hazy
  • Lights with halo effects
  • Eye irritation
Glaucoma Symptoms

When to see a doctor?

When there are the symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma, such as severe headache, eye pain, or blurred vision, go to an emergency department or an eye doctor's (ophthalmologist's) office right away. For other regular symptoms of glaucoma, you can schedule an appointment with us and visit our Hospitals. Get the best treatment for Glaucoma from the expert eye doctors of Medicover Hospital Seek care at Medicover


Risks factors of glaucoma

Because chronic types of glaucoma can cause vision loss before any symptoms or signs appear, be aware of the following risk factors

  • Internal eye pressure that is too high (intraocular pressure)
  • Having a glaucoma family history
  • If one has diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and sickle cell anemia.
  • Having corneas with a narrow central layer.
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Having undergone eye surgery or having had an eye injury
  • Long-term use of corticosteroid medicines, particularly eyedrops

Causes of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is caused when there is an injury in the optic nerve. Blind patches get formed in the visual field when this nerve deteriorates. This nerve injury is frequently linked to increased ocular pressure for reasons that doctors don't completely understand. An accumulation of a fluid (aqueous humor) that circulates across the inside the eye causes increased eye pressure. At the angle where the iris and cornea meet, this internal fluid drains through a tissue called the trabecular meshwork. When fluid is overproduced or the drainage mechanism fails, the fluid cannot flow out at its typical rate, causing increased ocular pressure.


Diagnosis of Glaucoma

The doctor will go over medical history and provide a thorough eye exam. He or she may conduct a variety of tests such as-

  • Intraocular pressure measurement (tonometry)
  • Dilated eye examination and imaging studies are used to check for optic nerve injury.
  • Examining for regions of vision impairment (visual field test)
  • Corneal thickness measurement (pachymetry)
  • Looking at the drainage angle (gonioscopy)

Treatment of Glaucoma

Glaucoma can't be reversed once it's started. However, if discovered the disease early enough, medication and regular exams can help slow or prevent vision loss. Low eye pressure is used to treat glaucoma (intraocular pressure). Prescription eye drops, oral drugs, laser treatment, surgery, or a combination of these may be available depending on situation.

  • Eye drops : Prescription eye drops are commonly used to treat glaucoma. These can help lower eye pressure by changing the way fluid drains from the eye or reducing the amount of fluid produced by the eye. Depending on how low eye pressure needs to be, one might require more than one of the eyedrops listed below.
  • Oral medications : If eye drops alone aren't enough to lower the eye pressure, the doctor may prescribe an oral drug, such as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. Frequent urination, tingling in the fingers and toes, sadness, stomach distress, and kidney stones are all possible adverse effects.

Surgical procedures and other treatments

Laser therapy and several surgical procedures are other treatment possibilities. The following treatments are designed to increase fluid outflow within the eye and thereby reduce pressure:

  • Laser treatment : If one has open-angle glaucoma, laser trabeculoplasty is a possibility. A tiny laser beam is used by the doctor to open congested passages in the trabecular meshwork. It could take a few weeks for the full benefit of this surgery to show.
  • Surgical filtration : A trabeculectomy is a surgical operation in which the surgeon makes an opening in the white of the eye (sclera) and removes part of the trabecular meshwork.
  • Drainage tubes : A tiny tube shunt is inserted into the eye by an eye surgeon to drain out excess fluid and relieve the eye pressure.
  • MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) : To lower the eye pressure, the doctor may recommend a MIGS surgery. These treatments are less risky and needless immediate postoperative care than trabeculectomy or the placement of a drainage device. They are frequently used in conjunction with cataract surgery. There are several MIGS treatments to choose from, and the doctor will discuss which one is best.

Lifestyle changes and Self Care

These suggestions may aid in the management of high eye pressure or the promotion of eye health.

  • Maintain a balanced diet : A nutritious diet can help one to stay healthy, but it won't stop glaucoma from getting worse. Zinc, copper, selenium, and the antioxidant vitamins C, E, and A are all vital for eye health.
  • Exercise with caution : In open-angle glaucoma, regular exercise may help to lower ocular pressure. Consult the doctor about starting an exercise regimen.
  • Limit caffeine consumption : Caffeine-rich beverages may cause ocular pressure to rise.
  • Drink plenty of water : At any one point during the day, only drink moderate amounts of fluids. Drinking a quart or more of any drink in a short period of time can cause temporary ocular pressure to rise.
  • Elevate the head while sleeping : It's been proven that sleeping with a wedge pillow that keeps the head slightly lifted, roughly 20 degrees, lowers intraocular pressure.
  • Take medication as directed : Taking the eye drops or other drugs exactly as directed can help to obtain the best results from the treatment. Utilize the drops as directed. Otherwise, the damage to the optic nerve may worsen.

Dos and Don’ts after a Glaucoma surgery

After undergoing glaucoma surgery, one needs to be careful and alert while doing their daily activities to allow healing and faster recovery. Here are Dos and Don’ts after glaucoma surgery

Do’s Don’ts
Take proper rest. Lift more than 10 pounds
Use the eye drops given by the doctor as prescribed. Bend too much, lift or strain
Eat proper diets suggested by the doctor. Apply any face cream or eye makeup.


Glaucoma Dos and Don’ts

Once the patient is diagnosed with glaucoma, he or she has to take special care and precautions. Following are some Dos and Don’ts for glaucoma

Do’s Don’ts
Exercise daily as it can benefit the eyes in maintaining proper blood flow to the nerves and decrease pressure. Smoke or go to places with fumes.
Eat a healthy diet as it helps to prevent glaucoma. Take foods rich in antioxidants. Follow a sedentary lifestyle habit.
Protect your eyes while going outside, playing, or working outside and wear eyeglasses. Rub your eyes or touch frequently.


Glaucoma Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and surgeons who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to our patients. Our dedicated team of experts, trained nurses and other paramedical staff offer the best care to a patient. We make use of advanced medical technology and state-of-the-art facilities for performing procedures with utmost precision and a high success rate.

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