What isa glaucoma

Health & FitnessMedicine

  • Author Craig Payne
  • Published August 27, 2022
  • Word count 385

Glaucoma is a common disease of the eyes, which can cause serious damage if it is not diagnosed early. It is a condition in which the normal intra-ocular pressure in the eye is higher. Normally the pressure in the eye is 16 to 20 mm of Hg and if it gets higher than 20 then a glaucoma is suspected. Most cases are usually detected very late and by the time it is diagnosed the increased pressure would have done a lot of damage to the eye. The reason for this late detection of a glaucoma is that it has very few symptoms in the early stages. There are not many problems in the eyes early except for the gradual deterioration of vision. The prevalence of glaucoma in the general population is considered to be around 12-13%. There are three main types of glaucoma: open angle glaucoma, closed angle glaucoma and a congenital glaucoma.

The open angle glaucoma is by far the most common type of glaucoma and it has got least obvious symptoms. It is seen both in women and men in almost equal proportions, usually in the age group of 60-70 years. The primary symptoms experienced by the patient are a blurring of vision, difficulty in doing the near work like reading and writing as well as the need to change the vision glasses frequently and changes in the field of vision. This type of glaucoma would usually damage one eye first and the progress to the other eye also being affected. The delay in diagnosis is also partially due to the central area of vision is preserved until the later stages of the condition. The exact reasons for the increase of the eye pressure that causes the glaucoma are not known, but it is thought that there is some sort of blockage at the site where the aqueous liquid is absorbed to the blood in the eye. To treat an open eye glaucoma, there are many drugs which are used in the management but mainly timolol, pilocarpine, epirine are used. The disadvantage of using these drugs are that they have to be used lifelong. More often than not, it is advised to get the surgery done, which ensures the steady maintenance of the eye pressure. Recently laser trabeculoplasty have been giving good results in many patients.

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