The Bold Voice of J&K

World Glaucoma Day

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Dr Shally Kandhari

Glaucoma is a group of disorders that damage the optic nerve. Optic Nerve sends visual information from your eye to your brain and is vital for good vision.Damage to optic Nerve is often related to increased pressure of eye ,but it can also occur in normal eye pressure. If the optic nerve damage worsens Glaucoma can cause permanent visual loss. Glaucoma mostly affects adults over 40 years but young adults, children and even infants can have it.
Risk Factors: Above 40 years of age. Family history of Glaucoma: Diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, Steroid intake, Eye injury, Thin cornea, increased pressure of eye, suspicious optic nerve appearance and many more
Aqueous humor is the fluid inside our eye ,which flows out of eye through mesh like channels. If the channels gets blocked or eye is producing too much of fluid, then it builds up to raise pressure of eye. It usually affects both eyes, may be worst in one. There are many types of Glaucoma, the most common being open angle Glaucoma.
Signs and Symptoms: Most people don’t have symptoms .If symptoms develop, they are usually late .Glaucoma is diagnosed accidently during a routine eye check up (so regular eye checkups are advised), that is why it is called THIEF OF VISION. Main sign is loss of peripheral vision i.e., side vision when head is kept straight and later complete loss of vision can occur. Acute angle closure Glaucoma can present as throbbing eye pain that can be the worst eye pain of someone’s eye, other signs can be redness, headaches, foggy vision, dilated pupil, nausea and vomiting. It is a medical emergency and one has to immediately consult an ophthalmologist.
DIAGNOSIS: Glaucoma tests are painless: A detailed dilated eye examination is needed to check the optic nerve for signs of Glaucoma. Tonometry is required to check pressure of eye. Optic nerve head analysis is done by OCT. Visual field test is done to see loss of peripheral vision gonioscopy is done. Glaucoma is most often treated with a combination of eye drops called anti-glaucoma drugs ,oral medications, laser trabeculoplasty and micro-surgery.
Glaucoma is a life-long condition and needs continuous follow up with your eye doctor. Make sure to take your drops and pills religiously in time as directed. Mild regular exercises may help lower eye pressure. Healthy well rounded diet including nutrient rich food containing omega 3 fatty acids and other antioxidants. Avoid smoke which can cause hypertension, eye inflammations which can aggravate other risk factors for glaucoma. Limit intake of caffeine and tea in too much quantities. Half of the people with Glaucoma don’t know that they have it. a healthy step this year on World Glaucoma Day by learning about Glaucoma and taking steps and reduce your risk of visual loss.

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