Home Treatments Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a collective term for a group of eye conditions that damage your eye's optic nerve, a critical connection between the eye and the brain. Typically, this damage arises from fluid accumulation in the front portion of the eye, which ultimately harms the optic nerve.
Symptoms of glaucoma often begin insidiously in the peripheral field of vision, and they can go unnoticed for a considerable period, earning it the moniker of the "silent thief of sight." In India, it goes by various local names like kala-motiya, kanchbindu, kala-paani, and jhamar. It is crucial to remember that there is no known cure for glaucoma. However, early detection is pivotal in slowing its progression and safeguarding your vision.

About Glaucoma Eye Surgery

Types of Glaucoma

  • 1. Open-angle glaucoma: is the most prevalent form of glaucoma, characterised by a gradual onset. It occurs when the eye fails to drain fluid like a clogged drain efficiently. Consequently, intraocular pressure increases, resulting in damage to the optic nerve. Initially, this type of glaucoma is painless and does not bring about any vision changes. Some individuals may have optic nerves that are particularly sensitive to normal eye pressure, increasing their susceptibility to glaucoma. Hence, regular eye examinations are imperative to detect early signs of optic nerve damage.
  • 2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This type materialises when an individual's iris is near the eye's drainage angle. The iris can obstruct the drainage angle, like a piece of paper plugging a sink drain. When the drainage angle becomes completely blocked, intraocular pressure skyrockets abruptly, leading to an acute attack. This constitutes a genuine eye emergency, necessitating immediate contact with an ophthalmologist, as blindness may ensue.
  • 3. Normal Tension Glaucoma:People afflicted with "normal tension glaucoma" exhibit eye pressure within the normal range but display signs of glaucoma, such as blind spots in their field of vision and optic nerve damage.
  • Causes of Glaucoma

    Glaucoma can manifest without any specific cause, but several factors can contribute to its development. Foremost among these factors is intraocular eye pressure. Your eyes produce a fluid called aqueous humour, which nourishes them. This fluid flows through your pupil toward the front of your eye. In a healthy look, the fluid exits through the drainage canals between the iris and the cornea. In cases of glaucoma, resistance within these drainage canals increases, which may be an inherited trait. Consequently, the fluid accumulates within the eye, exerting pressure on vision. Over time, elevated eye pressure can damage the optic nerve, leading to glaucoma.

    Signs & Symptoms

    Severe headache

    Severe eye pain

    Nausea or vomiting

    Blurred vision

    Halos or colored rings around lights

    Eye redness

    difficulty seeing things in your central vision

    Risk Factors

    Age above 40 years

    Family history of glaucoma

    African, Hispanic, or Asian heritage

    Elevated eye pressure

    Farsighted or nearsighted vision

    Prior eye injury

    Prolonged use of steroid medications

    Thin corneas at the centre

    Optic nerve thinning

    Concurrent health conditions like diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, or systemic issues affect the whole body.


    1- What is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting visual signals from the eye to the brain. It is often caused by increased pressure in the eye and can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.

    2- What are the risk factors for glaucoma?

    The risk factors for glaucoma include age (being over 50 years old), family history of glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), near-sightedness, previous eye injuries or surgeries, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.

    3- What are the common symptoms of glaucoma?

    In the early stages, glaucoma may not have any symptoms. One of the earliest indicators is frequent change of glasses. As the condition progresses, it may cause symptoms such as loss of peripheral field of vision, frontal headache, blurred vision, colored halos around lights and pain or redness in the eyes. Regular comprehensive eye examinations, including measurement of eye pressure, are essential for early detection of glaucoma especially in cases with a strong family history of glaucoma..

    4- How is glaucoma diagnosed?

    Glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination that includes measuring intraocular pressure (IOP) by contact tonometry method, examining the optic nerve head and assessing the visual field. Additional tests, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and gonioscopy, may also be performed to determine the type and severity of glaucoma.

    5- What are the treatment options for glaucoma?

    The treatment options for glaucoma depend on the type and severity of the condition. The majority of patients are managed medically by lifelong eye drop therapy. The eye drops work in glaucoma by reducing the intraocular pressure. The other treatment options are oral medications, laser therapy, and surgery.

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