Dr. Manjula K, Senior Consultant, Glaucoma and Cataract, The Eye Foundation, Bangalore India talks about the risk factors associated with the eye condition glaucoma. She advises on the precautionary measures that should be taken to stop the further deterioration of vision in glaucoma patients.
A glaucoma is a group of diseases that adversely damage the optic nerve of the eye. It often leads to loss of vision and blindness. However, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent severe loss of vision.
The usual cause is the improper drainage of the eye fluid that increases the eye pressure. The increased eye pressure, in turn, harms the optic nerve. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in elderly.
Some individuals are at an increased risk of glaucoma than the others. You should be concerned about your eye health if you:
- Are an individual over the age of 40 years
- Have a family history of glaucoma
- Have high eye pressure
- Belong to Asian descent
- Are a diabetic
- Are near-sighted or far-sighted
- Have a history of eye injury
Glaucoma is usually symptomless and can be detected only during routine eye check-ups. The disease starts with peripheral vision loss.
“There is no cure for glaucoma, but the progressive vision loss can be prevented by anti-glaucoma medication and eye surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to manage the loss of vision. Yearly eye examinations after the age of 40 are highly recommended.”
Treatment for glaucoma can include either one or a combination of the following:
- Eye drops or pills
- Laser trabeculoplasty: To drain out the fluid from the eye, lasers are used.
- Conventional surgery (trabeculectomy): An opening is created to drain out the eye surgically.
Your doctor would be able to advise about the course of treatment after a detailed evaluation of your eye.