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What is Glaucoma ?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, which is the specialized light sensing tissue, to the brain so we can see. In glaucoma, eye pressure plays a role in damaging the delicate nerve fibers of the optic nerve. When a significant number of nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots develop in the field of vision. Once nerve damage and visual loss occur, it is permanent. Most people don’t notice these blind areas until much of the optic nerve damage has already occurred. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness results. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people. Early detection and treatment by your ophthalmologist are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and vision loss from glaucoma.
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Dear GOD, if today I lose my hope please remind me that your plans are better than my Dream.....
Types of Glaucoma
Open angle and closed angle (angle closure) glaucoma. The fluid in the eye flows through an area between the iris and cornea, where it escapes via the trabecular meshwork - "angle" refers to this area. The trabecular meshwork is made of sponky tissue lined by trabeculocytes. Fluid drains into s set of tubes, known as Schlemm’s canal, from which they flow into the blood system.
Open-angle glaucoma - also called wide-angle glaucoma, this is the most common type of glaucoma. The structures of the eye appear normal, but fluid in the eye does not flow properly through the drain of the eye, called the trabecular meshwork.
Closed Angle Glaucoma (acute angle-closure glaucoma) can come on suddenly, and the patient commonly experiences pain and rapid vision loss. Fortunately, the symptoms of pain and discomfort make the sufferer seek medical help, resulting in prompt treatment which usually prevents any permanent damage from occurring.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (chronic glaucoma) - progresses very slowly. The patient may not feel any symptoms; even slight loss of vision may go unnoticed. In this type of glaucoma, many people don’t get medical help until some permanent damage has already occurred.
Low-tension glaucoma - this is another form that experts do not fully understand. Even though eye pressure is normal, optic nerve damage still occurs. Perhaps the optic nerve is over-sensitive or there is atherosclerosis in the blood vessel that supplies the optic nerve.
Pigmentary glaucoma - this type generally develops during early or middle adulthood. Pigment granules, which arise from the back of the iris, are dispersed within the eye. If these granules build up in the trabecular meshwork, they can undermine the flow of fluids in the eye, leading to a rise in eye pressure. Running and some other sports can unsettle the granules, which get into the travecular meshwork.
The symptoms of open-angle glaucoma are -
The symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma are -
Signs of Glaucoma
Diagnosis of Glaucoma
To diagnose glaucoma, an eye doctor will test your vision and examine your eyes through dilated pupils. The eye exam typically focuses on the optic nerve which has a particular appearance in glaucoma. In fact, photographs of the optic nerve can also be helpful to follow over time as the optic nerve appearance changes as glaucoma progresses. The doctor will also perform a procedure called tonometry to check for eye pressure and a visual field test, if necessary, to determine if there is loss of side vision. Glaucoma tests are painless and take very little time.
Treatments involve either improving the flow of fluid inside the eye, reducing its production, and sometimes both. Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible. Even the disease itself cannot be completely cured. However, regular check-ups and proper treatment can considerably slow down the progression of the disease, and even prevent further loss of eyesight. The goal is to decrease the pressure inside the eye. Few examples of the surgery -
Eye drops for glaucoma - these either reduce the formation of fluid in the front of the eye or increase its outflow. Side effects of glaucoma drops may include allergy, redness of the eyes, brief stinging, blurred vision, and irritated eyes. Some glaucoma drugs may affect the heart and lungs. Be sure to tell your doctor about any other medications you are currently taking or are allergic to.
Drainage Implants (aqueous shunt implant) - this option is sometimes used for children or those with secondary glaucoma. A small silicone tube is inserted into the eye to help it drain out fluids better.
Trabeculoplasty - a high-energy laser beam is used to unblock clogged drainage canals, making it easier for the fluid inside the eye to drain out. This procedure nearly always reduces inner eye pressure. However, the problem may come back.
Filtering Surgery (viscocanalostomy) - if nothing else works, including high-beam energy laser surgery, the patient may need a filtering procedure, usually a type of trabeculectomy. The surgeon creates an opening in the white of the eye and removes a small piece of the trabecular meshwork. This allows the eye fluid to leave through the opening.
Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma - this condition is treated as a medical emergency. Pressure-reducing medications are administered immediately. A laser procedure is usually carried out which creates a tiny hole in the iris, allowing fluids to pass into the trabecular meshwork - this procedure is called an iridotomy. Even if only one eye is affected, the doctor may decide to treat both, because this type of glaucoma often affects the other eye too.
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