What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a complex disease in which damage to the optic nerve fibers, causes progressive, irreversible vision and visual field loss. One of the modifiable risk factors that we monitor and treat is abnormal eye pressure.
- Family history Age over 40
- African Americans ethnicities
- Patients with abnormal corneal thickness
Why does the intraocular pressure increase ?
Human eye has a fluid called the aqueous humor, this fluid drains from very fine canals right at the corner where the iris and the cornea meets. This system is very sensitive and any problem affecting this drainage will result in an increase in IOP and causes pressure on the nerve fibers of the optic nerve. Consequently, there will be damage to these sensitive fibers and permanent vision loss.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will test your vision and examine your eyes. He’ll check your optic nerve, may take photographs of the nerve to help him track your disease over time.
He’ll do a test called tonometry to check your eye pressure. He’ll also do a visual field test, if necessary, to figure out if you’ve lost your side, or peripheral, vision.
An OCT test is a very useful test where the doctor can take a precise photo of your optic nerve fibers to see the affected fibers and to plan your treatment accordingly.
All Glaucoma tests are painless and take very minimal time.
After examining your eyes and precisely the optic nerve and the pressure of your eyes, your doctor will decide the best treatment plan for your situation, the majority of patients are treated with eye drops to lower the pressure, and however some case may need special kind of laser to decrease the eye pressure.
In advanced cases where the eye drops and lasers are not doing the needed job to decrease the eye pressure, surgical intervention will be the choice.