Glaucoma is the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide. In India alone, it affects around 12 million people; India is projected to become the world capital of glaucoma by 2020. The sight loss caused by glaucoma is progressive and, unlike cataract, is irreversible. Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent blindness.Glaucoma is a disease of the nerve for vision (optic nerve) caused by increased pressure in the eye.95% patients with glaucoma do not have any symptoms. Glaucoma is a silent disease that cannot be detected or felt by the patient since central vision remains unaffected till the late stages of the disease. Hence it is rightly called as the ‘sneak thief of sight’. It is usually detected during a routine eye checkup.
The department is equipped with state-of the art diagnostics and imaging facilities that includes computerized visual field testing, Optic Nerve imaging, Spectral domain OCT Pachymetry. The team is dedicated to the care and treatment of Glaucoma patients
Types of Glaucoma
I. Primary Glaucoma
II. Secondary Glaucoma
Open angle & angle closure glaucoma are the common forms of the disease. The treatment of Glaucoma depends on the severity of the disease and early detection of the disease. Rarely there can be acute rise in intraocular pressure resulting in emergency. Laser treatment to reduce the intra ocular pressure. Glaucoma can be treated & controlled but cannot be cured completely and if not treated can result in blindness.
Who are at the risks of developing glaucoma?
- Anyone above the age of 40yrs
- Family history of glaucoma
- Patients on long term steroid medications
- Patients with chronic eye diseases.
Glaucoma management includes careful clinical evaluation assisted with advanced imaging devices and visual field analyzers. Treatment includes medical (eye drops), Laser and surgical intervention. This treatment depends on the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Appropriate and early detection can avoid blindness. Trabaculectomy is the most commonly performed surgery for glaucoma. YAG Laser iridotomy helps in treating angle closure glaucoma. The final action of treatment is to allow the patient to lead an independent and fully functional lifestyle.
The Department is equipped with
- Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer
- Retinal Nerve fiber layer Analyzer
- Optical Coherence tomography (OCT)
- Ultrasound Pachymetry
- Anterior Segment OCT
- I care Tonometer
- Non contact Tonometer
- Applanation Tonometer
- Nd YAG Laser
The technique of measurement of pressure within the eye (intra ocular pressure IOP/IOT) is called tonometry. This is very important since IOP is one of the indicators of Glaucoma. Tonometry is recommended in everyone over the age of 40, family history of glaucoma. This technique can be performed with either Applanation or non-contact Tonometer.
Ophthalmoscopy is used to examine the inside of the eye, especially the optic nerve this helps the doctor to assess the condition of the optic nerve.
Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer
During this test, you will be asked to look straight ahead and then indicate when a stationary light appears in the field of vision. This helps draw a “map” of your field of vision. This is a non invasive computerized test which takes about 10-20 minutes to perform and gives information regarding optic nerve damage due to glaucoma.
Glaucoma and Optic Nerve Head Digital Photography
During the tests a detailed photo of the Optic Nerve is taken and documented. This helps in assessing the progress of the disease.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography is a new, noninvasive, noncontact, imaging technology capable of early detection of glaucoma through its ability to evaluate the nerve cells damaged in glaucoma.
Glaucoma is usually controlled with eye drops taken daily which prevent damage to the optic nerve by lowering eye pressure, either by slowing the production of aqueous fluid within the eye or by improving the flow out of the eye
YAG LASER IRIDOTOMY
Yag laser iridotomy is performed almost exclusively for patients with narrow angle glaucoma, or acute angle closure glaucoma. Yag laser iridotomy involves making a tiny opening in the iris with a laser, which allows fluid to drain freely. The laser peripheral iridotomy procedure is usually completed as a brief outpatient procedure. Prior to the procedure, the pupil is often constricted with an eye drop medication known as pilocarpine. The procedure itself is completed with the patient seated at the laser, and requires no sedation. Usually, a lens is placed on the eye after topical anesthetic drops are applied to better control the laser beam. The entire procedure only takes a few minutes. The lens is then removed from the eye and vision will quickly return to normal. After the procedure, your eye surgeon may recommended anti-inflammatory eye drop medications for the next few days. A post-op visit will be scheduled.
When glaucoma continues to progress despite the use of medication regimens and possibly laser treatments, a glaucoma filtration procedure (Trabaculectomy) may be recommended. The goal of the glaucoma filtration procedure is to create a new passageway by which aqueous fluid from inside the eye can escape, thereby lowering the pressure.