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Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, & Glaucoma Treatment

As of 2020, 12 Million people in Indians are suffering from Glaucoma. 

Have you ever experienced a sudden shooting headache followed by blurry vision? Or constantly watering eyes? Or you could see rings or experience blind spots? Then you must read this blog carefully.



When we talk about diseases, we usually expect them to come with clear warning signs. Glaucoma is one of those diseases that just sneaks up on you. It is known to damage the optic nerve, which is important for any being to have a clear vision. Contrary to popular belief, Glaucoma is not just about high eye pressure. It may develop even when the eye pressure seems normal. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in older adults. Sadly, it is also often an undetected issue. 


We will be discussing Glaucoma in-depth in this blog. We will be discussing various causes, symptoms, and Glaucoma treatments. Read ahead to learn more about the disease. Let's begin, shall we?


Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma meaning states that is the term given to the kind of eye condition that causes blindness. Glaucoma can be a hidden danger because it doesn't always show symptoms or cause pain. Even if your eye pressure seems normal, it can still sneak up on you. This silent threat is a major reason for blindness, especially in older people.


What happens in your eye?

Glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye, causing pressure to rise. This high pressure internally damages your optic nerve. But you might not even notice until your vision is seriously affected. It's like a slow, secret attack on your sight, and there are usually no early signs. Getting regular eye checkups is really important because that's your only defense. Finding it early is the key to slowing down or stopping vision loss.


Major causes of Glaucoma

Apart from age, there are many other commonly observed causes of Glaucoma. Let's take a look at some of them: 


Fluid Balance: Your eyes make a liquid called aqueous humor to keep things balanced. When the drainage isn't working well, the pressure inside your eye shoots and in turn, hurts your optic nerve.


Optic Nerve: High pressure slowly kills the nerve fibers, creating blind spots in your vision that you might not notice until it's too late.


Eye Pressure: The most important thing in Glaucoma is the pressure inside your eye. If the drainage isn't good, the pressure goes up, and that can damage the optic nerve over time.


Age and Ethnicity: As you get older, especially if you're over 40, the risk of Glaucoma goes up. This is why everyone needs to have regular eye check-ups.


Diabetes and Other Risks: If you have diabetes, you're more likely to get Glaucoma. Other risks include being farsighted or nearsighted, having a family history, or even eye injuries. Certain medications and infections can also play a role.


If you notice any of these underlying causes of Glaucoma, you must look out for Glaucoma symptoms.


Glaucoma symptoms to look out for!

To prevent Glaucoma from impacting your life, it is not enough to just take care of your eyes. You must also stay on the lookout for any symptoms and get regular checkups. This list breaks down the different symptoms for various Glaucoma types and stages:


Open-Angle Glaucoma: This type has no symptoms early on. There's a gradual development of patchy blind spots. These spots are usually on the side of your vision. Over time, you may also start facing trouble seeing the center of your vision.


Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This type of Glaucoma develops suddenly. You may notice symptoms like strong headache, intense eye pain, nausea, blurry vision, & redness in the eyes. You may also see rings forming around lights.


Normal-Tension Glaucoma: Like Open-angle Glaucoma, this type also doesn't have any symptoms at first. Your vision begins to blur slowly. In the later stages, you may begin losing vision on either side.


Glaucoma in Children: Contrary to popular belief, Glaucoma is not just seen in adults. In infants, cloud eyes or dull eyes manifest as a symptom. Babies blink more than usual. May have tears without crying, & even experience blurry vision. 


Regular eye check-ups are super important to catch Glaucoma early. Early detection can help you fight against this eye problem and protect your vision.


Glaucoma treatment & prevention

To keep your eyes healthy and prevent Glaucoma from affecting your vision, here are some important steps:



Regular Eye Exams: It's crucial to have comprehensive eye exams regularly. If you're under 40, every 5 to 10 years is good, but if you're over 65, it's recommended annually. If you're at risk, you might need more frequent check-ups.


Know Your Family's Eye Health: Understanding your family's eye health history is important. This is because Glaucoma often runs in families. If there's an increased risk, you should get checked more often.


Eye Protection: Protect your eyes when doing activities like using power tools or playing sports. Serious eye injuries can lead to Glaucoma.

If you're diagnosed with Glaucoma, there are different treatment options:

  • Medications: Prescription eye drops can help manage eye pressure.

  • Laser Therapy: Laser treatments improve fluid drainage from the eyes and can be used alone or with eye drops.

  • Surgery: There are different surgical options. They range from traditional procedures to minimally invasive ones like MIGS. MIGS have faster recovery times.

Remember, Glaucoma damage is irreversible, so taking action quickly is important. Early detection through regular eye exams is encouraged. Following prescribed Glaucoma treatment can help you save your vision.


Final thoughts 

When it comes to taking care of our eyes and dealing with Glaucoma, it's important to be smart and take action. Getting regular eye check-ups is like having a shield that helps us catch Glaucoma early and stop it from getting worse. Knowing our family's eye history is important for targeted screenings. This is especially true if there's a higher risk. Protecting our eyes from serious injuries can help prevent Glaucoma. 


But being diagnosed with Glaucoma is not the end of the world. There are different treatments. Using prescribed eye drops or even having surgery are some of them.


Regardless of the presence of multiple Glaucoma treatment options, negligence is not recommended. Damage caused by Glaucoma is permanent; hence, prevention is better in this case. Take proper care of your eyes and stay mindful of the common symptoms. Early diagnosis and proper care are the best ways to ensure a lifetime of efficient vision.

 

The Author : Dr. Sunil Khattri 

+91 9811618704


Dr. Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

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