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What Is Glaucoma?

Written and reviewed by
Bharti Eye Hospitals 90% (16 ratings)
Cornea Cataract & Lasik
Ophthalmologist, Delhi  •  40 years experience
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Hello everyone,

I am Dr. Saurabh Sharma, glaucoma consultant. So in this video we'll talk about what is glaucoma, who gets glaucoma and what are the symptoms of glaucoma. Glaucoma as we generally know in Hindi as Kala motia, is a silent killer of sight which affects the back of the eye in particular optic nerve. The optic nerve is like a wire which takes the information, the light, from the eye to the brain and that is how we can see. The major factor for getting glaucoma is increased pressure of the eye. But there are some people who have normal pressure and still they get the optic nerve damage in particularly those patients who have decreased blood flow to the eye. So the optic nerve because of these reasons gets slowly slowly damaged and the important point to remember at this point is the part of the optic nerve which is damaged is irreversible and that is why glaucoma is considered to be the most common cause of irreversible blindness in India as well as world. So who gets glaucoma? Anyone, since birth till old age can get this dreaded disease.

But there are some people who are more prone to get glaucoma like those people who have a family history as in glaucoma runs in families. Those people have three times more risk of getting glaucoma as general population. Others like those people who have long eyes who are myopic, who wear minus glasses or who have thin corneas the front part of the eye or there are some aggravating factors like diabetes, thyroid, migraine; all these are risk factors of getting glaucoma. Regarding the symptoms of glaucoma as I have told you it is a silent killer of sight means generally there are no symptoms of glaucoma. There is no pain, there is no vision loss. The patient will not realise that he has glaucoma until and unless he is seen by the doctor; that is why it is very important for early examinations in such conditions.

However, some people can have some frequent change of glasses particularly near glasses and some people who are aware of the surroundings can be aware of their peripheral vision getting smaller and slowly slowly the vision becomes smaller and comes creeper, it becomes darker from the periphery and then creeps to the centre. Most of the patients who are coming to us, 50% of the optic nerve is already damaged and the people will not realise that they getting glaucoma and the resultant 50% of the optic nerve is damaged. In a few subset of patients which are known as the angle closure glaucoma patients, these patients are those we have which have very small eyes, who are wearing plus number of glasses. In such patients there is a risk of getting very high, extremely high pressures and then they can present early with redness, pain, loss of vision, nausea, vomiting, headaches but these are very few subset of patients. This can be diagnosed early because the patients have some symptoms in such cases.

But in generally, in glaucoma patient does not have any symptoms unless and until 50% of the optic nerve is damaged. That is why it is very very important for getting your eye examined frequently. We at Bharti eye hospital take utmost care for screening of patients particularly those patients are above 40 years of age and those who are at risk of getting glaucoma to screen whether they are getting this dreaded disease or not.

Thank you very much.

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