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GLAUCOMA – facts, definition, types, causes, risk factors, symptoms, prevention and treatment

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GLAUCOMA

FACTSGLAUCOMA - facts, definition, types, causes/risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment

– Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.
– Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes.
– There is no yet cure for Glaucoma.
– Vision lost from Glaucoma cannot be restored.
– Poor compliance with the program of prescribed Glaucoma medication and follow-up visit is the major reason for blindness caused by Glaucoma.

DEFINITION

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed and can result in vision lost and blindness.

TYPES

Open- Angle Glaucoma
– Primary open angle glaucoma
– Normal-tension glaucoma (low tension glaucoma or normal pressure glaucoma or low pressure glaucoma)
– Pigmentary glaucoma
– Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma
– Secondary glaucoma
– Congenital glaucomaCongenital Glaucoma

Narrow Angle Gluacoma
– Acute angle closure glaucoma
– Chronic angle closure glaucoma
– Neovascular glaucoma

CAUSES/RISK FACTORS

– Ocular hypertension (increased pressure within the eye)
– Dietary (vitamin deficiencies)
– Genetics (positive history of Glaucoma in the family)
– Prolonged use of steroids
– Diabetics retinopathy
– Central retinal vein occlusion
– Ocular trauma (eye injury/eye surgery)
– Uveitis
– High blood pressure
– Short/long sightedness
– Age (people above 60years)

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of Glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of the condition. Some of them include;
– Severe headache
– Blurred vision
– Eye redness
– Eye pain but pain-less at the early stages of Open-Angle Glaucoma
– Nausea and Vomiting
– Halos around lights
– Patchy blind spots
– Tunnel vision in the advanced stage.

DIAGNOSIS

– Visual Acuity test
– Perimetry (Visual Field test)
– Ophthalmoscopy (Dilated eye examination)
– Tonometry (measuring the pressure inside the eye with a Tonometer)
– Pachymetry (measurement of the thickness of the cornea)
– Gonioscopy (examining the angle where the iris meets the cornea)
– Nerve Fiber Analysis (examining the thickness of the nerve fiber layer)

PREVENTION

– Regular Exercise
– Maintaining an active lifestyle
– Quit smoking
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Eating a varied and healthy diet
– Wear eye protection
– Know your family history
– Get regular eye care.

TREATMENT

Early diagnosis with immediate treatment is important for early stage Open-Angle Glaucoma which helps to delay the progress of the disease. The treatment used for Glaucoma do not improve sight already lost to Glaucoma, they can only save remaining vision.
The main goals of Glaucoma treatment are to avoid glaucomatous damage and nerve damage, and preserve visual field and total quality of life for patients, with minimal side effects.
Depending on the severity the treatment varies. It could be medication or laser trabeculoplasty or surgery or a combination of these.

Medication:

the aim of most Glaucoma medicines is to lower eye pressure. It works by causing the eye to make less fluid or by helping fluid drain from the eye. Medication is the most common early treatment for Glaucoma. It usually comes in form of eye drop or pills.

Laser Trabeculoplasty :

a laser machine is used to help fluid drain out of the eye.

Surgery:

surgery is the primary therapy for Congenital Glaucoma. There are different surgical approaches used for Glaucoma treatment. They include; conventional surgery (trabeculectomy), canaloplasty, glaucoma drainage implant, laser-assisted non penetrating deep sclerectomy etc.

Absolute Glaucoma;Absolute Glaucoma

This is the end stage of all types of Glaucoma. The eye has no vision, absence of papillary light reflex and papillary response and has a stony appearance with severe pain. The treatment of absolute glaucoma is a destructive procedure like cyclocryoapplication, cyclophotocoagulation or injection of 99% alcohol.

REFERENCES

www.allaboutvision.com. Retrieved 13th September 2016 at 06:33am.
www.webmd.com. Retrieved 13th September 2016 at 07:02am.
www.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 13th September 2016 at 08:00am.
www.glaucoma.org.au. Retrieved 13th September 2016 at 08:26am.
www.nei.nih.gov. Retrieved 13th September 2016 at 09:45am.

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