Glaucoma ranks as the third leading cause of blindness in India after cataract and refractive error.It’s reported that over 1 crore people in India are affected by glaucoma. However, due to underreporting and lack of awareness, the actual number could be higher.The prevalence of glaucoma is estimated to be the cause behind 12% of the total blindness cases in the country. Glaucoma not only leads to vision impairment but also has a considerable impact on the quality of life of affected individuals. It affects daily activities, independence, and mental well-being, highlighting the importance of early detection and comprehensive management.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a collective term referring to a spectrum of eye conditions that harm the optic nerve, often resulting in vision loss. Typically, there is an accumulation of fluid in the anterior segment of the eye, causing increased intraocular pressure (IOP). This elevated pressure gradually compromises the optic nerve. Interestingly, some individuals with normal eye pressure may still develop glaucoma. Left untreated or inadequately managed, glaucoma may cause permanent and irreversible blindness.

Risk factors for Glaucoma

Glaucoma can affect anyone, but the risk increases with age. Certain ethnic groups are more likely to get glaucoma than other ethnic groups, and they tend to develop the disease earlier in life. Asian populations are at an increased risk for a distinct type of glaucoma known as angle-closure glaucoma or closed-angle glaucoma. Remember, awareness and early intervention are crucial in managing glaucoma. Here are some additional risk factors:

  • Family history of Glaucoma
  • Have high eye pressure
  • Are short-sighted or long-sighted
  • Long-term use of steroids
  • Have Diabetes or have High/ Low Blood Pressure
  • Previous eye injury or Surgery

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is often called as the silent thief of vision. For most of the cases of glaucoma, there aren’t any early warning symptoms, and changes to vision can happen gradually, so the symptoms are easy to miss. Given that numerous individuals with open-angle glaucoma remain asymptomatic, regular eye examinations play a pivotal role in identifying this condition during its initial phases. Since glaucoma-induced harm is irreversible, early detection and timely intervention are critical in averting blindness. Remember, proactive care is the key to preserving vision. Here are some common symptoms:

  • Eye pain or pressure
  • Headaches
  • Rainbow-colored halos around lights
  • Blurred Vision
  • Narrowed vision (tunnel vision) or blind spots
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red eyes

One of the significant challenges in managing glaucoma is late detection. Many cases remain undiagnosed until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Lack of awareness, limited access to healthcare, and inadequate screening programs contribute to this issue.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Regular eye exams are crucial for early detection and intervention to prevent irreversible damage. These exams assess optic nerve health, eye drainage, visual fields, and IOP. Early diagnosis allows for prompt intervention through various treatment modalities such as eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, or conventional surgery. Glaucoma requires lifelong management to prevent vision loss.While damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, treatment aims to slow or halt further progression.

Glaucoma care at KokilabenDhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Eye specialists at our Department of Ophthalmology are committed to revolutionizing glaucoma management. Our skilled clinicians blend compassion with cutting-edge approaches to enhance patient outcomes. We are equipped with the most advanced technologies – the Humpherys Perimeter for checking field of vision, and Spectral Domain HD – OCT for checking the vision nerve (Optic Nerve) both from Carl Zeiss Company, Germany. Remember, early detection and personalized care are paramount for glaucoma care. Join us in the fight against glaucoma. Together, we’ll safeguard vision and transform lives. Please find below our link for more details:

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