WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?
Glaucoma also known as Kala Motia in Punjabi is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerve of the eye. It is one of the commonest causes of irreversible blindness all over the world. It is associated with the build up of pressure inside the eyeball. The increased pressure called the intraocular pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve which transmits images to the brain. Without treatment Glaucoma may cause permanent blindness over a period of time.
Since most people with Glaucoma do not have early symptoms it is important to see your eye doctor regularly.
WHO SHOULD GET THE EYES CHECKED?
Eye check up is important if
1. You are over 40 years of age.
2. You are experiencing frequent changes in the prescription of glasses.
3. You are having Myopia or Short Sightedness.
4. You are using Steroids.
5. You are having diabetes or high blood pressure.
6. You had any injury to the eye.
7. You have any family history of Glaucoma.
8. You are having Glaucoma to monitor the efficacy of treatment.
HOW IS GLAUCOMA DIAGNOSED?
Detailed initial consultation is very important to elicit complete medical and surgical history and ascertain relevant risk factors like use of Steroid, Trauma, and Diabetes etc.
Comprehensive clinical examination including Visual Acuity, Slit Lamp Examination, Non Contact Tonometry and Applanation Tonometry (To check eye pressure) Fundus and Optic Nerve Head Examination, Gonioscopy (Checking drainage channels of eye) and Central Corneal Thickness.
Special investigations to document the extent of structural damage to the optic nerve head and the retinal nerve fibre layer like Humphreys Visual Field Analysis, GDX (Nerve Fibre Analysis), OCT(RNFL) and /or OCT ONH.
Comprehensive discussion and information session to inform patient regarding type of Glaucoma, disease prognosis and implications, treatment options, importance of treatment compliance and to answer patient questions.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR GLAUCOMA?
With early detection Glaucoma can often be controlled with medications, either eye drops or pills or laser procedure. If there is no response over a period of time, the doctor may also recommend Glaucoma surgery. In certain cases Glaucoma surgery is preferred as the first line of treatment.
IF MY PATIENT HAS GOT GLAUCOMA, AM I AT RISK?
It is not necessary, but the risk of getting Glaucoma does increase. It is always safer if one gets Glaucoma screening tests done.
HOW LONG DO WE NEED TO USE EYE DROPS FOR TREATING GLAUCOMA?
A person who has got Glaucoma will have to use the eye drops throughout his life time.
CAN THE EYE DROPS USED FOR TREAING GLAUCOMA CAUSE SIDE EFFECTS?
Yes, certain eye drops used for treating Glaucoma can cause side effects like redness or irritation in the eyes. It usually clears off over a period of time. Always inform your doctor if you have any other medical problem especially asthma, heart problem or kidney problem.
I HAVE GOT GLAUCOMA. HOW FREQUENTLY DO I NEED CHECK UPS?
A person having Glaucoma is reviewed according to the severity of the condition.