What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma, also known as “Eye Blood Pressure”, is a common eye disease affecting millions of people. If left untreated, it may cause vision loss. In glaucoma, fluid pressure in the eye is high enough to damage the optic nerve required for vision.
It often occurs over the age of 40, usually progresses very insidious over the years. This is the most common type and is called “Primary Open Angle Glaucoma”. During this period, some of the patients do not have any symptoms. Glaucoma can be noticed by many patients only in the advanced stage and when significant visual loss occurs.
Early diagnosis is important since there is no return after visual loss occurs.
Abnormal intraocular pressure increase during normal eye examination may be the first sign of the disease. Regular examinations by the ophthalmologist are the best way for early diagnosis and treatment.
Another type of glaucoma is acute angle glaucoma which occurs suddenly in crisis. It is characterized by severe eye pain, decreased vision, red eye and nausea and vomiting. Requires immediate treatment. In infancy and childhood, watered eyes, sensitivity to light and eye growth are observed.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Normally, a fluid is continuously made in the eye to feed some eye tissues, and this intraocular fluid also leaves the eye continuously in some ways (trabecular network). Glaucoma occurs as a result of insufficient drainage of the fluid due to structural obstruction in the channels that drain the intraocular fluid and increased intraocular pressure. Rising intraocular pressure damages the visual nerve and causes death. In some patients, although the intraocular pressure is normal but the blood flow in the visual nerve is impaired, the visual nerve is destroyed in the same way (Normal Pressure Glaucoma). Permanent vision loss also occurs when the visual nerve cells die.
Untreated cataract may also cause glaucoma. The eye that is difficult to see will contract more and this will affect the intraocular pressure.
How is glaucoma diagnosed?
It is diagnosed by careful eye examination.
During the diagnostic eye examination, the ophthalmologist,
• Measures your intraocular pressure with a tool called tonometer. Examines the eye nerves by examining the fundus.
• Performs a visual field test to determine if there is any loss of visual field if necessary,
• Advanced methods of examining the visual nerve and nerve fiber layer can also be applied,
Please remember that glaucoma may develop in everyone.
Early diagnosis is the only way to prevent visual loss due to glaucoma.
The patient cannot recognize these losses unless there is significant damage to the visual field due to glaucoma.
For this reason, it is important to carry out eye examinations at regular intervals and have further examinations such as visual field.