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    Glaucoma

    What is Glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. However, with early detection and treatment, you can often protect your eyes against serious vision loss.

    What is Optic Nerve?

    Optic nerve is the nerve that carries visual signals from the eye to the brain. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for normal vision.

    How does the optic nerve get damaged by  glaucoma?

    Increased eye pressure is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage. A clear fluid ( Aqueous ) flows in and out of the front portion of the eye ( anterior chamber ). In Glaucoma the flow of this fluid is slow due to structural or physical resistance. As the fluid builds up, the pressure increases, and this increased pressure damages the optic nerve.




    Can I develop glaucoma if I have increased eye pressure?

    Not every person with increased eye pressure will develop glaucoma. Some people can tolerate higher levels of eye pressure better than others. Also, a certain level of eye pressure may be high for one person but normal for another.

    Can I develop glaucoma without an increase in my eye pressure?

    Yes. Glaucoma can develop without increased eye pressure. This form of glaucoma is called  normal-tension glaucoma.


    What are the types of glaucoma ?

     Glaucoma can be of two types.

    Open angle glaucoma - where there is high resistance to the outflow of fluid from the eye.

    Angle Closure glaucoma - in the condition, there is mechanical obstruction to the fluid outflow. 



    What are the symptoms of glaucoma ?

    At first, open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms. It causes no pain. Vision stays normal. Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes. Glaucoma affects the peripheral vision, as glaucoma progresses, patients tend to miss objects on the sides and around the corner of the eyes, till only a central tunnel of vision is left. if left untreated, this central tunnel vision also eventually decreases till no vision remains.

    Angle closure glaucoma can present with pain, redness, and sensitivity to light. chronic headache is also seen in some patients with angle closure glaucoma.






    How is glaucoma detected?

    Glaucoma is detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Your eye doctor will do a detailed assessment including the vision, eye pressure, dilated examination, visual fields assessment, scans of the nerve and measurement of the corneal thickness. 

    Can glaucoma be cured?

    No. There is no cure for glaucoma. Vision lost from the disease cannot be restored. However, with early detection and prompt management, vision in most patients can be preserved. 

    What are the treatment options in glaucoma?

    Glaucoma treatments include medicines, laser treatment, conventional surgery, or a combination of any of these. While these treatments may save remaining vision, they do not improve sight already lost from glaucoma.

    How should I use my glaucoma eyedrops?

    If eyedrops have been prescribed for treating your glaucoma, you need to use them as instructed by your eye care professional. Proper use of your glaucoma medication can improve the medicine’s effectiveness and reduce your risk of side effects.

    To properly apply your eyedrops, follow these steps:

      - Wash your hands.

      - Hold the bottle upside down.

      - Hold the bottle in one hand and place it as close as possible to the eye.

      - With the other hand, pull down your lower eyelid. This forms a pocket.

      - Place the prescribed number of drops into the lower eyelid pocket. If you are using more than one eyedrop, be sure to wait at least 5 minutes before applying the second eyedrop.

      - Close your eye  for at least 1 minute.