The eye is a fluid filled structure. The fluid inside the eyegives a normal pressure to the eye. The increase in eye pressure due to various reasons damages the nerve of the eye (optic nerve). This is glaucoma. Glaucoma is often a silent disorder which does not give rise to any symptoms during the early stages. Very rarely symptoms such as pain and redness can occur. Glaucoma is the silent thief of vision. This will lead to slow, painless and progressive reduction of vision. This reduction of vision starts from the sides and progresses to the center over months and years (i.e. side/peripheral vision is lost first).
What should be remembered is that the loss of vision due to glaucoma cannot be regained. So it is important that glaucoma is diagnosed during the early stages even before it causes any loss of vision. Glaucoma being a silent disorder, the early detection is possible only by routine eye examination.
Most often glaucoma occurs after the age of 40 years. But rarely glaucoma can occur in children and young people. Since glaucoma is more common after 40 years, everybody more than 40 years should have a yearly eye test done.
The standard tests for glaucoma include eye pressure (intraocular pressure-IOP)test and computerized visual field analysis to know the extent of peripheral vision (HFA). Vision Xperts Eye Hospital offers state of the art diagnostic facilities like ORA(Ocular Response Analyser) and OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography)which can image and study the optic nerve with micron accuracy. The most recent OCT-angiovue (angiogram without injection of dye) was introduced to India by Vision Xperts Eye Hospital. It images the blood flow to the optic nerve and helps to diagnose glaucoma at a very early stage even when all the other tests are normal.
Treatment modalities for glaucoma are many. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), a laser treatment works best for newly diagnosed glaucoma patients. It is a safe and painless procedure which does not require admission and after which the patient can immediately resume all routine activities. SLT can be safely repeated if required later.
Another latest laser treatment for glaucoma is the Cyclo G6 glaucoma laser which is very effective in controlling eye pressure. In glaucoma, eye pressure can also be controlled by eye drops or surgeries. The main reasonfor failure of treatment with eye drops is the inability to apply the drops properly according to the dosage, that too lifelong.Here SLT scores over eye drops as it is mostly a one-time procedure with long lasting effects.The surgery for glaucoma is called trabeculoplasty. The most experienced surgical hands at Vision Xperts Eye Hospital have been delivering the best results.
In short, a yearly eye examination is mandatory for all glaucoma patients as well as those above 40 years of age. Early detection, strict adherence to treatment and a regular lifelong follow up is the way to protect your eyes from this silent thief called glaucoma.