What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes an increase of pressure in the eye that leads to optic nerve damage. It can occur at any age but most commonly seen in older adults. Usually, glaucoma has no early warning signs, but the condition gradually worsens the vision that leads to irreversible permanent blindness. So it's necessary to have a frequent eye examination.
What causes glaucoma?
Aqueous humor which is the fluid inside the eye flows through a mesh-like channel. If these channels are blocked partially or completely, the natural pressure in the eye increases which leads to intraocular pressure (IOP). The increased IOP may cause damage to the optic nerve that leads to losing the vision or complete blindness.
What are the risk factors of Glaucoma?
Risk factors of glaucoma include:
- Old age
- Family history of glaucoma
- Ethnic backgrounds like east Asians or east Americans
- Eye injuries
- Previous eye surgery
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Thin cornea
- Using corticosteroid medications
- Medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease
What are the different types of glaucoma?
Five different types of glaucoma are there:
- Open-angle glaucoma: most common type
- Angle-closure glaucoma: occurs suddenly (acute glaucoma) or gradually (chronic glaucoma)
- Glaucoma in children: this occurs in infants and children
- Normal-tension glaucoma: a rare form of glaucoma
- Pigmentary glaucoma: tiny bits of pigment granules present in the iris that leads to an increase in pressure of the eye
What are the signs of glaucoma?
The signs of glaucoma differ based on the stage and type of the condition.
- Patchy blind spots that affect central or peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
- Severe eye pain
- Nausea & vomiting
- Redness in the eye
- Sudden vision disturbances
- Dilated pupil
- Seeing colored rings (halos) around lights
- Blurred vision
Who can treat glaucoma?
Well experienced and qualified Ophthalmologists can treat glaucoma. Depending on the severity of the disease, doctors can prescribe medications and eye drops. Ophthalmologists can also perform glaucoma surgery.
What is the cost of glaucoma treatment?
The approximate price for glaucoma treatment can range from 10,000 to 50,000 in Hyderabad. The cost may vary depending on the following factors:
- Admission charges
- Ophthalmologist fee
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Post-surgical complications that are involved
- Type of hospital
- The admission room that you opted for
However, this is not an exact cost for glaucoma treatment in Hyderabad. So, please have a discussion with an Ophthalmologist regarding the cost.
How can glaucoma be diagnosed?
Doctors will review medical history and perform a physical examination. After these, the following few tests may be suggested:
- Tonometry - to check eye pressure
- Pachymetry - to measure corneal thickness
- Gonioscopy - to evaluate the drainage angle
- Perimetry or visual field test - check the areas of vision loss
- Dilated eye examination and imaging tests - monitor optic nerve damage
What is the treatment for glaucoma?
The damage or loss of vision due to glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, the treatment can further prevent vision loss when there is an early diagnosis. The treatment mainly focuses on decreasing intraocular pressure. Based on the condition, treatment may be eye drops, oral medications, and surgery, or a combination of any of these.
How can glaucoma be prevented?
Some of the health care tips and measures that can help to control eye pressure are:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Limit taking caffeine
- Sleep with the head elevated
- Have a regular eye examination
- Use protective eyewear