Glaucoma - the disease  
What is glaucoma?  
Glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased pressure within the eye  
What causes glaucoma?  
Usually in glaucoma the intraocular pressures rises or fluctuates and this causes damage to the Optic nerve.The Intraocular pressure is maintained because of a fluid called aqueous humor circulating in the eye. If there is an imbalance between the production and drainage of aqueous humors, it causes the Intraocular pressure to rise or fluctuate.  
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?  
  • Blurred vision
  •  Seeing coloured haloes
  •  Partial /peripheral loss of vision
  •  Frequent change of presbyopic glasses
  •  Redness, pain and heaviness in the eyes
What are the tests used to diagnose glaucoma?  
Diagnosis of glaucoma needs a comprehensive eye examination The common tests used are Tonometry (Intraocular measurement) Gonioscopy (Looks into the drainage pathway of the eye) Dilated Fundus examination (Looks into the Optic Nerve Head) Perimetry (Visual field testing) OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography)  
How is glaucoma treated?  
Once glaucoma has been diagnosed, treatment should begin at the earliest to help minimize the risk of permanent vision loss. There is no cure for glaucoma, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing further damage from occurring. Most cases of glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser surgery or microsurgery. The best treatment for your individual case depends on the type and severity of the disease, and can be discussed with your doctor.
• Eye drops are used to reduce fluid production in the front of the eye or to help drain excess fluid.
• Laser surgery for glaucoma aims to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate fluid blockages through laser trabeculoplasty, iridotomy or cyclophotocoagulation.
• Microsurgery involves a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy, which creates a new channel to drain fluid from the eye and reduce the pressure that causes glaucoma.
How long should I use medicines?  
How can I prevent glaucoma?  
While there are no surefire ways to prevent glaucoma from developing, regular screenings and early detection are the best forms of protection against the harmful damage that the disease can cause. While anyone can develop glaucoma, some people are at a higher risk for developing disease. These people may include those who:
• Are over the age of 40
• Have a family history of glaucoma
• Have poor vision
• Have diabetes
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©   Dr. Bhaskar Ray Chaudhuri 2020