Glaucoma: Symptoms and Treatment


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What is glaucoma?

The term glaucoma describes a group of eye diseases, characterized by progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for vision in the eye. Glaucoma can lead to blindness if left untreated. The condition develops when the eye pressure rises, i.e. the pressure maintained by the fluid in the eye, though sometimes some individuals can develop glaucoma even with normal eye pressure.
Normal eye pressure ranges from 12-22 mm Hg, and eye pressure greater than 22 mm Hg is considered higher than normal.

What causes glaucoma?

Glaucoma results from high fluid pressure inside your eye. It occurs when the liquid in the front part of the eye, also called aqueous humor, doesn't circulate the way it should.

Aqueous humor, normally flows out of your eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel gets blocked, the liquid unable to flow naturally, builds up. That’s when glaucoma occurs. Though the cause of the blockage remains unknown, experts feel it could be hereditary, i.e. passed on from parents to child.

Apart from heredity, other factors that could cause glaucoma are:

  • A blunt or chemical injury to the eye
  • Blockage of blood vessels in the eye
  • Eye infection
  • Inflammation in the eyes
  • Eye surgery (very rarely)

Based on the factors causing it glaucoma can be of four types:

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma
  • Primary angle-closure glaucoma
  • Developmental glaucoma (which affects children)
  • Secondary glaucoma (which occurs due to other disorders of the eye or the body)

Who is prone to glaucoma?

People who are prone to glaucoma include:

  • people 60 years of age or older
  • people belonging to certain ethnic groups, including black and Latino
  • a family history of glaucoma
  • people suffering from high pressure in the eyes
  • diabetes patients
  • people with high blood pressure/hypertension
  • people with heart disease
  • nearsightedness (it is difficult for you to see objects in the distance)

What are the symptoms of glaucoma? How is glaucoma diagnosed?

The symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • hazy or blurred vision
  • the appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
  • severe eye and head pain
  • nausea or vomiting accompanied by severe eye pain
  • sudden sight loss


The only way to diagnose glaucoma is to get a complete eye check up done. During a glaucoma eye exam the ophthalmologist will:

  • examine your optic nerve for any damage
  • take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve
  • measure the thickness of your cornea
  • measure your eye pressure
  • inspect your eye’s drainage angle
  • test your peripheral (side) vision

What are the complications of glaucoma?

The complications of glaucoma include:

  • damaged nerve cells
  • blind spots on the peripheral vision which can cause motor accidents
  • vision loss
  • affected central vision if glaucoma is not treated

What is the treatment of glaucoma?

The treatment of glaucoma centres around managing the intraocular pressure (IOP) to minimize damage to the optic nerve. Based on your condition the doctor may prescribe glaucoma eye drops which can be very effective at controlling IOP to prevent eye damage.
For some people, however, glaucoma eye drops are not suitable. In those cases, the doctor may suggest a surgery. Oral medications can also be prescribed by the doctor.

Surgeries for glaucoma include:

  • Laser therapy
  • Filtering surgery
  • Drainage tubes
  • Electrocautery
Would you like to consult a doctor for Glaucoma ?

Patient Experiences

Rhea Nilanjana
Satisfied with Glaucoma Treatment
Dr. Sonia Bhalla is a really very good doctor. My over all experience was really amazing with the doctor. The practo app was also very helpful. I was able to book appointment over night whenever i am free. Need not wait for the clinic practice timings to book an appointment with any doctor. I was basically suffering from glaucoma(a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight). I came to Dr Bhalla for second opinion. She gave me the best suggestion and treatment. She gives lot of time for the patient to speak about there problems and pains. I just moved into the clinic and doctor was waiting for me only. She was very sweet in my treatment. My problem of glaucoma is not curable. It can be just controlled, so i am supposed to visit doctor once in six month for regular check ups. Other things in clinic like state of art and amenities and maintenance everything is up to the mark. I am very very happy with the doctor treatments. The staff also are very helpful to me and others as well. Great doctor. I would recommend her to other for eye related problems....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Sonia Bhalla
IRIS Inspiring Health Care
Latest Treatment for Glaucoma
I got optic neuritis in 2012 and had gone through steroid treatment, due to this got Glaucoma, consulted 3 doctors in Germany because by that time I was working in Germany, After finished my onsite assignment returned back to India, and consulted many doctors in various prestigious hospitals and not fully satisfied. finally I came to know about this doctor She is not-commercial, in fact patient friendly, honest and best doctor for Glaucoma. She is following the latest and emerging techniques in treatment and medicine when compared with many other doctors. Especially for Glaucoma, She is collaborating with France for HIFU (High-intensity focused ultrasound) treatment. * *** *** **** ****** ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Nilanjana Deb
Win Vision Eye Hospitals
Glaucoma Ruled Out With Proper Diagnose
Very happy, Honest doctor.I visited doctor on 8 April for my mother. Some time back during routine check up doctor diagnosed glaucoma and suggested laser surgery, After reading reviews and some research I thought to seek second opinion, To my surprise doctor ruled out glaucoma completely. In this age where all hospitals and doctors are in business of un needed tests and surgery , here is someone who is honest. Friends you can trust this doctor blindly.Just visit him and you will know. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Vishal Grover
Netrayatan Eye & Ivf Hospital

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
How I know that I am suffering from glaucoma checked with doctor she told may be. Glaucoma is there u should check
Dr. Vaibhev Mittal
Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon, Sangrur

A. Best test to ask for screening glaucoma is perimetry test

B. You can't self diagnose glaucoma

C. Doctor will examine the optic nerve head,record intraocular pressure and may advise for visual field test( perimetry) which is best test to evaluate glaucoma

Verified User
My father in law eye sight was lost due to glaucoma What chances are there that my son will suffer from same as doctor says his nerves are showing that suspicious but eye pressure is right now in control Is there any preventive medicine My son is 13 years of age
Dr. Aditi Adsule
Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon, Pune
Hello, Glaucoma is hereditary. Good you have showed your son to eye doctor early. You need to do few more tests like perimetry and nerve scan i.e. optic nerve OCT to get better and clearer picture whether he is at the risk of glaucoma in future. Do regular follow ups every yearly for glaucoma. Nothing to worry if tests are negative.
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