Information on Glaucoma
Glaucoma (Kala motia) is the most common cause of irreversible blindness, asymptomatic until advanced stages. It is rightly called the " Silent thief of sight" as most patient do not have any symptoms until the advanced stage and by that time only little can be done.
It is a chronic progressive optic neuropathy characterized by raised intra ocular pressure (IOP), optic nerve head (ONH) changes & visual field defects. But many patients have an IOP within normal range and a substantial proportion with normal IOP develops glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Besides raised IOP, other strongly associated factors include greater cup to disc ratio in ONH, thinner central cornea, shallow anterior chamber (A.C), increasing age, family history of Glaucoma, Hypertension and Diabetes are few of the risk factors.
Issues in the management of Glaucoma are diagnosing the case at the earliest, even before any substantial structural damage has occurred. As IOP is the only recognizable and controllable cause hence assessing target IOP and controlling it to prevent any subsequent structural/ functional damage is the main stay of therapy. Newer imaging techniques help us provide information that is reproducible and free of inter-observer variability.
At our institute a comprehensive eye check-up helps us catch the disease in unsuspecting cases even before the person is aware of symptoms like a frequent change of glasses, poor dark adaptation, headache mistaken to be migraine etc.
Active participation of the patient is required in the form of compliance to the the treatment, regular check ups and investigations to keep the progression of Glaucoma under check.
Most of the patients can be treated with eye drops with convenient daily dosage. In few, where the target IOP can not be achieved with the maximum medical therapy, option of surgery (Trabeculectomy) is there.