Thursday, 24 April 2014

Glaucoma, Eye Disorder

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a term which describes a type of eye disorder with no initial symptoms at first but eventually can causeharm to the optic nerve which carries information from the eye to the brain resulting in affecting the vision.

It is an eye disease that produces pressure in the fluid of the eye and if this remains elevated for a long time it may tend to cause the eye to water. Glaucoma can affect both the eye in varying degrees with one eye developing glaucoma much quicker than the other. Over a period of time, it can also damage the optic nerve resulting in a permanent loss of eyesight.

If not treated or uncontrolled, glaucoma can first cause peripheral vision loss leading to blindness.It may be difficult to recognize glaucoma and hence regular eye check-up is essential for individuals having a family history of glaucoma, those who have crossed the age of 40 or those who have diabetes, a history of steroid or cortisone use or people with extremely high or low blood pressure.

Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is called the `silent thief of sight’ and rightly so, since it is difficult to recognise the symptoms of this ailment and moreover there is no pain or any noticeable symptoms until one notices some vision loss. There are four types of glaucoma, chronic open angle glaucoma which is the most common type and it develops gradually.

The next is the primary angle closure glaucoma which is very rare, occurring slowly (chronic) or may develop quickly (acute) with a sudden painful build-up of pressure in the eye. The secondary glaucoma occurs as a result of an injury in the eye or an eye condition like uveitis which is the inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. Finally, developmental glaucoma or congenital glaucoma is rare but a serious type which is usually present at the time of birth or could develop shortly after birth and is caused by an abnormality of the eye.

Damage to Optic Nerve

Glaucoma may occur when the drainage tubes or the trabecular meshwork within the eye tends to get somewhat blocked preventing eye fluid – aqueous humour from draining properly.

And when the fluid is not capable of draining properly, the pressure builds up which is called intraocular pressure.

This can cause damage to the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain and the nerve fibres from the retina which is the light sensitive nerve tissue that lines up the back of the eye.

Treatment – Eye Drops/Medication/Laser/Surgery

If a person has been diagnosed with glaucoma, it may be treated with eye drops, laser treatments or pills. Surgery can also be done to treat glaucoma along with a combination of medication. Early diagnosis is essential to save damage to the eye which cannot be reversed and take timely treatment with an aim to control glaucoma to avoid losing their eyesight. Once diagnosed of glaucoma, the person needs to follow the prescribed medication given and avoid negligence and should they experience any kind of side effects, they should consult the physician without much delay.

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