I am Dr. Harshavardhan and today I am going to speak to you about a condition in the eye called Glaucoma. 10th March is celebrated as World Glaucoma Day and we all should know what this condition means. Glaucoma is called the sneak thief of the eye. It means when Glaucoma comes no one comes to know and when the patient actually comes to us he has advanced Glaucoma. So the main thing about Glaucoma is that the pressure inside the eye slowly rises & because of that the optic nerve which transmits messages or light impulses from the eye to the brain is damaged. In Glaucoma the patient initially does not have any symptoms the vision is also good. The peripheral vision, however, starts shrinking and this cannot be detected by regular tests or regular optometrist. It has to be detected by an ophthalmic surgeon & with the help of a special test called perimetry pekimetry OCT etc. Now, what happens in Glaucoma? When the pressure rises the nerve starts getting damaged and the peripheral vision initially starts shrinking. So when the patient comes to us he may complaints of an accident happening to him because he could not see the car coming from the side.
In that case, we usually check the pressure of the eye. The pressure is usually found to be high. We then look at the optic nerve. And there is damage happening there which is then captured on a fundus photograph. This is followed by tests perimetry pekimetry OCT to rule out or confirm Glaucoma. When this happens we need to check the patient and get his pressure down. How do we do that? We have options for drops surgeries and shell surgeries. Before that let me tell you that patient may sometimes complaint of heaviness in the eye sometimes may have complaints like blurring of vision or seeing haloes around the light. That happens when the pressure rises suddenly that especially in acute Glaucoma. However, most of the Glaucoma is slow and they are associated with patients above 40 age with diabetes with minus power and with a family history of Glaucoma. Sometimes blood pressure can also be a condition that can accompany Glaucoma. However, all these causes are not directly related and we need to check the patient every year. So my advise to all of you would be that after the age of 40 please get your eyes checked regularly. Please insist on checking on the eye pressure and looking at the optic nerve by opthalmologist and also if there is any doubt in your mind or in the mind of the ophthalmologist please get the special tests like perimetry & OCT done.
And in terms of the treatments that are available well initially, we treat with drops to control the pressure. However, if the number of drops is increasing or if the patient is not able to put drops because of his age & other limitations then we need to do a surgery to control the pressure. This surgery is safe and if done with the help of good hands and usually lasts for about 15 to 20 years however if the pressure does not come down with surgery then even repeat surgery may be required & sometimes a shunt has to be put. A shunt is nothing but a small tube which is inserted to drain the fluid from the eye & reduce the pressure. So all in all Glaucoma is a condition which cannot be detected by the patient himself & regular checkup is a must & if suspected must be treated as early as possible to prevent long time loss and complete blindness. Thank you very much and hope this video helps you. For more information, you can contact me on Lybrate.com.