By Dr. Shazia Shafi
GLAUCOMA (Kala Motia) is a severe eye condition that damages our eye’s optic nerve. Being progressive in nature it may get worse over time. This condition is often associated with buildup of pressure called intraocular pressure within our eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve which sends visual information from the eye to the brain.
While glaucoma can develop at any age, patients with diabetes, hypertension are more susceptible to this eye condition as these patients are more prone to risk of eye infection causing glaucoma. It mainly affects people above the age of 40 years. A positive family history of glaucoma is also a very important risk factor. People with high minus numbers (myopia), history of eye trauma, or use of corticosteroid medicines for a long time are also more likely to develop a risk of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is known as the ‘silent thief of vision’ as people may not show any signs or symptoms at first. Its symptoms appear gradually. Once you lose vision, it can’t be reversed back. Therefore it’s very important to get your eyes checked regularly. If diagnosed, then follow the treatment religiously. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness or vision loss. It is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.
Do not overlook the symptoms:
• Blurred vision
• Persistent headache
• Sensation of dazzle of lights while driving
• Seeing rings or halos around the light
• Finding difficulty in low light
• Redness in eye Diagnosis:
To detect this disease, testing of eye pressure, optical coherence tomography (OCT) test, CT scan of the eye vein, visual field testing, examining the field of vision of the eye, and gonioscopy are conducted.
Advice: Early detection is the key to saving vision. People above 40 years, a family history of glaucoma, eye injury, near-sightedness or myopia, certain conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, migraines and patients on steroids are highly recommended to get regular eye checked in a year. You should get intraocular pressure checked every year regularly as it helps in early detection of glaucoma. Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet to manage diabetes and hypertension. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption as these are major risk factors for diabetes and hypertension. Avoid using eye drops without a doctor’s advice as overuse of steroids present in these medicines can cause damage to the eyes.
Treatment: Treatment is followed depending upon the state of glaucoma. Anti glaucoma medication is the first line of treatment given.
Depending upon the staging of disease your doctor can advise Trabeculectomy surgery or valve surgery also.
Detected at an early stage glaucoma can be prevented. Only treatment is Prevention & early detection. Let’s spread awareness about this silent thief of vision.
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