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What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of ailments which cause damage to the optic nerve. The function of the optic nerve is to carry the images from the retina to the brain which allows us to see. The retina is the specialized tissue in the eyes which senses light. Eye pressure plays a major role in glaucoma in damaging the nerve fiber of the optic nerve and if a large number of these fibers become damaged then the patient will experience blind spots in the vision field.

In this ailment if loss of vision occurs due to nerve damage, it is permanent. In most cases the blind spots don’t come to notice until a lot of the optic nerve is already damaged. Blindness results if the complete nerve is destroyed. Glaucoma is known to be the chief cause of blindness particularly in aged people. If the nerve damage is detected early it is possible to prevent further damage and loss of vision due to glaucoma by taking proper treatment from an ophthalmologist.
Types of Glaucoma

There are two main types of glaucoma:

  • Angle Closure Glaucoma – In this type of glaucoma the open drainage angle of the eye becomes completely blocked. In this case the iris can block off the drainage angle causing a high pressure that is dangerous. When this drainage angle is completely blocked, pressure starts to build up fast and this is known as acute angle closure glaucoma. The symptoms are blurred vision, severe eye pain, rainbow haloes, headache, nausea and vomiting. When the drainage angle of the eye is blocked in a gradual manner the pressure also builds up gradually and this is known as chronic angle closure glaucoma.
  • Open Angle Glaucoma – In this type the open drainage angle of the eye can become blocked causing gradual increase in eye pressure. If this high pressure causes optic nerve damage it is called chronic open angle glaucoma. The damage to the optic nerve happens so painlessly and gradually that the patient is not aware of the problem until the optic nerve is severely damaged.

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Glaucoma Symptoms

The symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rainbow colored haloes around bright lights
  • Sudden sight loss

Diagnosis of Glaucoma

An eye doctor has a number of tools to help determine whether or not a person has glaucoma – much before you have symptoms. Let us look at these tools:

  • Tonometer – This tool measures the pressure in the eye. The doctor places a numbing eye drop in your eye and seats you at a slit lamp while resting your forehead and chin on a support in order to keep your head steady. The lamp which allows the doctor to look at a magnified view of the eye is moved forward till it touches the cornea to measure the IOP. This is an easy, fast and painless test which can surely diagnose glaucoma
  • Pachymeter – This tool measures the thickness of the cornea and for this the eye is first anesthised. Then the doctor will place a small probe which is perpendicular to the cornea
  • Visual field test – In glaucoma the peripheral vision is the first to be lost and a test of the visual field allows your doctor to check if the peripheral vision has been lost.
  • Opthalmoscopy – This is the most important diagnostic method for this ailment. An instrument known as an opthalmascope allows your doctor to directly through the pupil into the eye to discern its color and appearance which can indicate whether or not there is any damage from glaucoma.

Treatments for Glaucoma

The treatment of glaucoma is possible with the help of pills, eye drops, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. The aim of any form of treatment is to prevent vision loss because vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible. However, if glaucoma is detected early then it can be managed with surgical and/or non surgical treatments.

Glaucoma Treatment

Risks Involved in Glaucoma

The main risk involved in Glaucoma is the complete loss of vision which is irreversible.

Glaucoma Prevention

High eye pressure is not a direct cause but a risk factor for glaucoma. If you are at risk of developing glaucoma doctors will recommend a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and nutritious diet which will improve the overall mental and physical well being. Suggestions for physical wellness include:

  • Keeping your weight within a healthy limit
  • Keep your blood pressure normal
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit the intake of caffeine
  • Include regular exercise in your daily routine
  • Prevent too much exposure to sunlight
  • Get regular eye exams

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How IndianMedTrip Provide Affordable Glaucoma Treatment in India?

IndianMedTrip is a company specializing in facilitating medical tourism in order to assist the people from abroad wishing to come to India for treatment of glaucoma and other ailments. These people usually find it difficult to locate good medical facilities that provide low cost treatments and we help them to locate such facilities.


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