What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which there is vision loss due to damage to the optic nerve (nerve that passes information from the eye to the brain), often from increased eye pressure.
What causes Glaucoma?
You may be at a higher risk for glaucoma if you have any of the below risk factors:
  • Family history of Glaucoma
  • Age above 60 years
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
Initially there are no symptoms. Slowly one starts losing side vision. This often goes unnoticed until the glaucoma has progressed a lot and significant irreversible damage has already occurred. This is why Glaucoma is also called the Silent Thief of Sight. The only way in which Glaucoma can be detected early is by regular detailed eye tests.
As glaucoma progresses, the peripheral vision loss increases and you may feel as if you are looking through a tunnel. Over time even the vision in the centre of your visual field may get affected slowly leading to complete blindness if left untreated.
How is Glaucoma diagnosed?
Glaucoma is detected by performing a detailed eye test which involves the below tests for glaucoma:
  • Visual acuity test: This eye test measures how clear your vision is at various distances.
  • Visual field test: This eye check for glaucoma measures your side vision. At Drishti Eye Care, we have one of the latest technology for computerised testing of peripheral vision called the Perimeter.
  • Dilated Eye Check: Your doctor will put in eye drops so that the pupils of your eyes widen. This enables your Glaucoma eye doctor to have a wider view of the inside of your eye. This helps to detect any damages in the initial stages.
  • Tonometry: This eye test for glaucoma measures the pressure inside your eye by an instrument called the tonometer.
  • Pachymetry: This test measures the thickness of the outermost layer of your eye – the cornea. The thickness of your cornea can affect the interpretation of your eye pressure readings. Hence this test may be advised along with the measurement of eye pressure.
What is the treatment for Glaucoma?
Glaucoma treatment is very crucial in the initial stages. This is because, once your vision is lost due to glaucoma, no treatment can reverse it. Nevertheless.
Clearing few myths about Glaucoma:
The most common cause of cataract is aging. After about forty years of age, the natural lens’s proteins start clumping. This causes the light to scatter as it passes through the lens, hence causing hazy vision. In some people, the lens may change to a yellowish brownish colour which then causes your vision to have a brownish tint. Other than aging, the below are some risk factors for cataracts:
  • Not every person with raised eye pressure develops glaucoma. The level of eye pressure that your optic nerve can tolerate without undergoing damage varies from person to person within a certain range.
  • Conversely, you can develop glaucoma without having raised eye pressure too. This is called normal tension glaucoma.