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What You Should Know About Glaucoma

by Ishat Narain

Glaucoma is a common condition and can affect people after the age of 60. This condition damages the optic nerve and can get worse over time. It is linked to extra pressure inside the eye. The pressure damages the nerve that sends images to the brain, leading to total blindness within a few years. If you lose vision, there is a chance it can be renewed, but lowering eye pressure might help keep your sight. Atlanta glaucoma treatment services give hope to those having vision-related problems.

Causes of glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs due to a damaged optic nerve. As this nerve deteriorates, blind spots develop. For unknown reasons, nerve damage is related to excess pressure in the eye. High eye pressure is due to the increased buildup of aqueous humor fluid that flows inside the eye. This fluid usually drains out through trabecular meshwork tissue at the angle where the cornea and iris meet. When the excess liquid is produced or drainage doesn’t work correctly, the fluid can flow out at an average rate, and eye pressure increases.  Glaucoma tends to be hereditary.

Glaucoma treatment

Eye drops. These either increase the flow of fluid in the eye or lower the fluid’s creation, lowering eye pressure. Side effects like redness, irritated eyes, blurred vision, stinging, and allergies can occur. Some glaucoma drugs can affect your lungs and heart. Because of drug interactions, always talk to your doctor about any medical problems you are having or other medications you take, and let them know if it’s hard to follow the procedure of two to three drops a day or their side effects. They can change your treatment.

Microsurgery. In trabeculectomy, your doctor makes a channel to drain the fluid to reduce eye pressure. This surgery might be done more than once. Your doctor can use a tube to drain fluid. This surgery can lead to permanent or temporary vision loss, as well as infection or bleeding. Open-angle glaucoma is treated with a combination of laser trabeculoplasty, eye drops, and microsurgery. Doctors can begin with medications, but early microsurgery can work better for some people. Acute angle-closure glaucoma can be treated with laser procedure.

Oral medication. The doctor can prescribe medication to take by mouth, such as a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor or a beta-blocker. These drugs might improve drainage or slow the creation of fluid in the eye.

Laser surgery. This method slightly raises the flow of fluid from the eye if you have glaucoma. It can reduce fluid blockage if you happen to have angle-closure glaucoma. Procedures of laser surgery include trabeculoplasty, iridotomy, and cyclophotocoagulation which treats the middle layer of the eye, lowering liquid production.

Glaucoma is a dangerous condition. You should report any vision symptoms to your doctor so that you can get early treatment to avoid severe problems. Although glaucoma may not have visible symptoms in the early stages, it can lead to vision loss. You should have an eye test regularly to detect even slight changes that enable you to start treatments, usually with eye drops. This can prevent or slow vision loss.