GLAUCOMA AND TREATMENT
Glaucoma is a term used to describe a group of diseases of the eye, characterized by progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve(nerve of the eye responsible for vision) due to rise in intraocular pressure and which, if untreated, may lead to blindness.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in India. WHO has estimated that 4.5 million people are blind due to glaucoma. In India, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness with at least 12 million people affected and nearly 1.2 million people blind from the disease. More than 90 percent of cases of glaucoma remain undiagnosed in the community. Glaucoma prevalence increases with age.
WHO SHOULD GET SCREENED?
1. Persons aged above 40 years
2. People with high myopia and high hypermetropia
3. Diabetics, hypertensives and people with heart diseases and other systemic illnesses
4. People with a family history of glaucoma
5. People with past history of ocular injuries
6. Chronic steroid users in the form of drops, inhalers and tablets
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY GLAUCOMA?
1. Involvement of one or both eyes.
2. Progressive decrease in the field of vision gradually leading to complete loss of vision
3. Pain in or around the eyeball with or without headache
4. Sudden episodes of redness associated with pain.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Consult your ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye examination which includes intra ocular pressure measurement and fundoscopy along with routine tests
Depending on the clinical observations, you may need to undergo further glaucoma tests like gonioscopy, visual field examination, OCT scan and a corneal thickness measurement to further evaluate and start the treatment.
Depending on the type of glaucoma you are diagnosed with, the treatment approach may vary accordingly. Treatment options include eye drops, laser treatment and surgery.
Once treatment is initiated, periodic follow ups with intraocular pressure monitoring and yearly visual field examination is must to preserve vision.
Most of our patients are becoming blind due to glaucoma due to lack of awareness about the disease.
January is national glaucoma month, an important time to spread the word about this sight threatening disease..
Early diagnosis and appropriate management can save many glaucoma patients from becoming blind.
KNOW MORE ABOUT GLAUCOMA TODAY. BECOME AWARE OF THE SYMPTOMS. SAVE YOUR SIGHT.
Dr. B. Pranathi
Senior Consultant and Head of Department of Ophthalmology Cataract, Glaucoma & Refractive Surgeon
KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad.