Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.
In such situations, your eye doctor may recommend eye drops and oral medications initially. If those procedures don’t work, you may have to undergo glaucoma surgery to limit optic nerve damage.
At first, glaucoma doesn’t usually have any symptoms. That’s why half of the people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it.
Over time, you may slowly lose vision, usually starting with your side (peripheral) vision — especially the part of your vision that’s closest to your nose. Because it happens so slowly, many people can’t tell that their vision is changing.
But as the disease gets worse, you may start to notice that you can’t see things off to the side anymore. Without treatment, glaucoma can eventually cause blindness.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
It’s possible to have glaucoma and not know it. Regular eye exams are important to catch glaucoma or other eye problems. Eye exams can assess optic health and vision loss.
To check for glaucoma, your eye doctor may do one or more of these painless tests:
How is glaucoma managed or treated?
Untreated glaucoma can lead to faster development of permanent vision loss or blindness. Treatments can slow down additional vision loss, but they can’t restore lost vision. It’s important to see your eye doctor right away if you have eye pain, severe headaches or vision problems.
Glaucoma treatments include:
Eyedrops/Medication: Prescription eye drops decrease fluids and increase drainage to alleviate eye pressure. There are many types of eye drop medications that can be used for this condition. Because glaucoma is a lifelong condition, you may need to use daily eyedrops for life.
Laser treatment: Your eye doctor uses a laser (strong beam of light) to help improve fluid drainage from your eye. While the laser can complement the use of eye drops, it may not replace it completely. The results from laser treatments vary, but can last up to five years. Some laser treatments can also be repeated.
Surgery: Surgery is another way to help reduce eye pressure. It is more invasive but can also achieve better eye pressure control faster than drops or laser. Surgery can help slow down vision loss, but it can’t restore lost vision or cure glaucoma. There are many types of surgeries for glaucoma, and depending on the specific type and severity, your eye doctor may choose one over another.
What is MIGS:
To reduce some of the effects of standard glaucoma surgeries, a group of operations known as MIGS has been developed. Making use of microscopic-sized equipment and tiny incisions, surgeries in this group decrease the incidence of complications and other problems. Such groups of operations are divided into several categories like:
If you are experiencing any issues with your eyesight, visit MM Chokshi Eye Hospital for a quick check-up.
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