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In simple words, Glaucoma can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging the optic nerve in the back of your eye. Optic nerve is responsible for transmitting imagery to the brain. Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease. It shows progressive loss of retinal cells and their axons.
Lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) is currently the only proven treatment strategy for glaucoma. However, some patients show progressive loss of visual field and quality of life despite controlled IOP which indicates that other factors are implicated in glaucoma.
- Depending on how much pressure has to be reduced, one or more drops are prescribed by opthamologists:
- Beta blockers
- Alpha-adrenergic agonists
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
- Rho kinase inhibitor
- Miotic or cholinergic agents
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (oral medication)
Surgery and therapies
Depending on the case, we can choose to go for alternate treatments and surgery for Glauoma. The therapies and Surgeries include
- Laser therapy
- Filtering Surgery
- Drainage Tubes
- Minimally invasive Glaucoma Surgery
- Have diet that is healthy for eyes
- Exercise safely
- Limit your caffine
- Sip fluids frequently
- Sleep with elevated head
- Take prescribed medicines
Herbal remedies: Some herbal extracts are well advertised as Glaucoma remedy but there are no clinical evidence on the results and positive impact.
Relaxation: Meditation and similar techniques do help in some cases.
With the diagnosis of Glaucoma, you’re potentially facing lifelong treatment, regular checkups and the possibility of progressive vision loss.
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Preparing for appointment
Before your appointment make a list of:
Prior to your appointment make a list of the following:
- Symptoms and its duration
- Medications and vitamins and the doses
- Eye problems & conditions in the past
- Family members with glaucoma, types and severity
- Previous, if any, glaucoma testing — for example, visual fields, imaging or eye exam records
- Questions to ask your doctor
Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I have signs of glaucoma?
- What tests do I need to confirm a diagnosis?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you’re suggesting?
- Do I need to follow any activity restrictions?
- What other self-care measures might help me?
- What is the long-term outlook in my case?
- How often do I need to return for follow-up visits?
- Do I need to see an additional specialist?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
What to expect from doctors
A doctor who sees you for possible glaucoma is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- Have you had any eye discomfort or vision problems?
- Do you have any other signs or symptoms that concern you?
- Do you have any family history of glaucoma or other eye problems?
- What eye screening tests have you had and when?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- Are you using any eyedrops?
- Are you using any vitamins or supplements?
Glaucoma presents itself in two ways
This type of glaucoma is usually asymptomatic and patient does not know about it. When patients know about vision loss, usually the disease is already in a very advanced stage. Here the outflow drainage facility is open but not efficient for draining out excess in aqueous from eye. So, the eye pressure (IOP) might increase resulting in gradual damage to our optic nerve.
Here outflow angles are very shallow, as a result of which, IOP increases & if not lowered with medication over course of time, might start damaging our optic nerve. Patient usually presents with symptoms like headache specially in dark, colored halos around light at night or as an acute attack of glaucoma wherein sudden decrease of vision is accompanied by severe headache, nausea, vomiting and redness.