What are the ways of knowing whether or not one has Glaucoma?
The signs or symptoms of glaucoma can vary depending on the type.
Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG)- Most POAG patients do not have any signs or symptoms prior to the disease. The first sign which the patient may notice is the loss of peripheral, or side vision, but this could lie ignored late until the disease. Patients suffer the chances of losing quite a bit of vision before they become aware of the disease. That is why glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of vision."
Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG)- During the initial stages, this type of glaucoma is also asymptomatic, which is why the patient is not aware of the condition. As the disease develops, the patient may notice blurred vision or the appearance of haloes or colored rings around lights. In the later stage, the patient may complain of pain and/or redness in the eye.
What are the different types of glaucoma?
The different types of Glaucoma are as follows:
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG): Progresses slowly with gradual loss of vision. Some patients have POAG but have normal eye pressure, this is referred to as Normal Tension Glaucoma (NTG). This type of glaucoma responds well to treatment with anti-glaucoma eye drops. In case of failure, surgery may be required in order to reduce eye pressure.
Angle Closure Glaucoma (ACG): An acute angle closure attack of the eye may result in decreased vision, haloes around lights, eye ache, headache, nausea and/or vomiting. The initial intraocular pressure is reduced by medical treatment or laser treatment (Peripheral Iridotomy/PI). If they fail, then surgery might be necessary. A laser treatment in the fellow eye is done to prevent the chance of a similar attack.
Congenital Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is rare and occurs at birth or soon after. The signs and symptoms include enlargement of the eyes, watering, unusual sensitivity to light or haziness of the anterior transparent portion of the eye called the cornea. Initial treatment begins with eye drops but surgical treatment is compulsory for this type of glaucoma found in children, and should be performed as early as possible.
Secondary Glaucoma: Secondary glaucomas are the ones that develop secondary to, or as complications of other conditions, such as eye trauma, unoperated mature or hypermature cataract, diabetes, eye surgery, or intraocular tumors.
What should I remember?
Glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can definitely be controlled. Appropriate treatment and regular follow-up can preserve residual vision from further damage.
Early detection and treatment of Glaucoma before it causes significant vision loss is the ideal way to deal with the disease.
Anyone who is above the age of 40 should get examined periodically for Glaucoma.
Glaucoma is not an infectious disease, but it might be genetic. So, if anyone in the family history, has or had glaucoma, it is advisable for the other family members to undergo an eye check-up.
Periodic eye check-ups are mandatory for someone who has been diagnosed with glaucoma.
What is optic nerve atrophy?
A condition that sees the damage of the optic nerve, occurring due to reduced blood flow to the eye, trauma, etc.
What is optic neuritis?
It is an inflammation of the optic nerve which can occur due to infections or immune related disorders.
How to be relieved of double vision (diplopia)?
The cure takes nearly 6-8 weeks to act, keeping in mind that diabetes and hypertension is in control. But in some cases, if double vision does not get corrected, then special lenses called prisms are provided.
Who should urgently visit a neuro-ophthalmologist?
Patients with sudden visual loss, either due to neural or a retinal problem. The neural problems include Optic Neuritis and Ischemic Optic Neuropathy, but accurate diagnosis can restore vision.
What are the neurological disorders that may affect vision?
Why does proptosis or bulging eyeballs occur?
Thyroid diseases can cause it, or a tumor behind the eyeball could also be responsible for it. A CT scan or an MRI is a very important test for the diagnosis.
What is BOTOX injection?
BOTOX injection is used to paralyze specific eye muscles to give temporary relief in some neuromuscular conditions. The treatment has to be repeated after certain time.