Treatment of Glaucoma
Glaucoma, or as often referred to as ``increased intraocular pressure`` is a very common eye disease that is one of the leading causes of blindness both in the world and here!
Glaucoma, or as often referred to as “increased intraocular pressure” is a very common eye disease that is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and here! Glaucoma is a condition in which it is difficult to maintain the normal flow of aqueous humor through eye, causing high levels of intraocular pressure within the eye and leading to damage of the optic nerve, visual field deterioration and loss of vision. The danger lies in the fact that there are no pronounced subjective symptoms – glaucoma is not felt until it is too late!
Normal intraocular pressure values range from 10 to 20 mmHg. It is important to know that 30% of the people have all the symptoms of glaucoma disease with normal or slightly increased pressure. Due to this fact it is important to have regular eye examination!
Early detection is very important to prevent vision loss. Glaucoma that is not treated leads to atrophy (deterioration) of the optic nerve and loss of vision. Treatment of glaucoma may vary from a simple use of eye drops in the early stages, to laser treatment, and treatment by surgery in severe cases. It is important to note that the damaged nerve cannot be renewed! But, healthy nerves can be protected. It is also important to emphasize that visual acuity is not often and for a long period in correlation to the damage of the visual field!
Types of glaucoma
- OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA
- CLOSED-ANGLE GLAUCOMA
- OTHER TYPES OF GLAUCOMA (may be associated with an injury or inflammation of the eye, eye tumors, advanced diabetes, etc.).
Risk factors for glaucoma
- Glaucoma in the family (20% probability of developing glaucoma if parents suffer from the disease, 50% if the siblings suffer)
- Age (1% of the general population fall ill at the age of 40 – 49, even 20 – 30% over the age of 75)
- Race (dark-skinned races are at higher risk)
- High myopia and hyperopia
- Systemic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, migraine headaches, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
- After eye surgery, or prolonged instillation of corticosteroid drops or systemic corticosteroid therapy
Symptoms indicating glaucoma
Although no subjective symptoms are usually present, there are some signs that you can pay attention to. Peripheral spots in the visual field and loss of contrast sensitivity may indicate that layer of nerve cells of the optic nerve are affected. Test for contrast sensitivity, together with measuring of the width of the visual field, must be done in order to determine the degree of visual impairment. Symptoms may include pain in or behind the eyeball, headache and sensitivity to pressure. “The creation of black spots in the visual field”.
Ophthalmologists diagnosis consist of:
- Taking the medical history
- Measuring of intraocular pressure
- Examining of the optic nerve
- Examining of the chamber iridocorneal angle (Gonioscopy)
- CCT (measuring of central corneal thickness)
- Visual field testing
OCT (Optical coherent tomography)
Advanced glaucoma creates defects in the visual field the so-called “Tunnel vision”.
Treatment of glaucoma
Possible treatments for glaucoma include:
- Local use of drops (regular use of eye drops several times a day)
Once glaucoma is diagnosed, it is particularly important to control intraocular pressure and other parameters essential for the assessment of the stage of the disease and determine the treatment methods. Within Specialist Ophthalmology Clinic ZONA VIDA VESELINOVIC there is a Cabinet of eminent specialists in ophthalmology who perform diagnostics, treatment and control glaucoma patients.
Examining of patients with suspected glaucoma, in our clinic, in addition to the general ophthalmologic examination, which includes measurement of intraocular pressure and a examining of the optic nerve, involves the use of modern diagnostic procedures including ophthalmic biomicroscopy, slit-lamp, examination of the eye fundus, gonioscopy, CCT, computerized visual field and OCT. Intraocular pressure measuring is not sufficient for the diagnosis, because eye pressure may be within normal range, however the disease shows progression and visual impairment, due to which the suspected cases are recommended for complete diagnostics in terms of glaucoma. We emphasize the advantage of patient examination using the OPTOPOLPTS1000 computerized Perimetry test and OCT Zaiss Stratus in the early diagnosis of glaucoma.