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Early Diagnosis in Glaucoma Saves Permanent Blindness

Glaucoma, also known as “Eye pressure” or “Blackwater disease”, is an eye disease that often progresses insidiously. It should be known that the progression of glaucoma can be prevented by the treatments to be applied in this disease, where family history and advanced age are the main risk factors, but the nerve damage that has occurred cannot be corrected. For this reason, early diagnosis and routine check-ups are of great importance in glaucoma. From Memorial Ankara Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, Prof. Dr. Koray Gümüş gave information about glaucoma.

Damage may become permanent

Glaucoma, which is the progressive destruction of the optic nerve due to high intraocular pressure, can also be seen in people with normal intraocular pressure in some cases. The main cause of glaucoma, which can occur due to genetic reasons, is the obstruction of the drainage channels in the eye or the loss of functionality as a result of some structural disorders. The most common type of glaucoma, which is classified differently according to its formation mechanism, time of emergence and structure of the eye, is “open angle” glaucoma. In open-angle glaucoma, which occurs in approximately 1 percent of the population and mostly over the age of 40, the rate of increase in intraocular pressure is relatively slow and the damage becomes permanent because the patient realizes this late.

Glaucoma crisis requires urgent intervention

In another type, “narrow angle” glaucoma, also known as glaucoma crisis, the intraocular pressure rises rapidly due to the sudden pause in the outflow of eye fluid. In these patients, the complaints are sudden and pronounced. This situation, also known as an ophthalmic crisis, requires urgent intervention. Otherwise, permanent blindness occurs in patients.

It can progress insidiously without any symptoms in adults.

Glaucoma symptoms appear differently in childhood and adulthood. The most common symptom of childhood glaucoma is a larger than normal corneal diameter, sensitivity to light, and eye watering; Adults often have no symptoms. It can progress insidiously without causing any damage to the optic nerves, that is, without any symptoms in the initial period. However, when the eye pressure is too high, some patients may experience symptoms such as severe pain, vomiting, redness and decreased vision. This situation requires urgent intervention.

Early diagnosis saves permanent blindness

Since the damage caused by glaucoma to the optic nerves is irreversible, early diagnosis of the disease is highly recommended. For this reason, people over the age of 40 should have a routine eye examination once a year, and those with a family history every 6 months. Delayed diagnosis of the disease can cause irreversible vision loss and blindness.

Advanced age and family history help diagnose

Among the most important risk factors for glaucoma are family history and advanced age. In addition, the presence of pseudoexfoliation material in the eye is an important glaucoma risk factor. Diabetes, systemic hypertension, presence of sleep apnea and smoking may also be associated with glaucoma. Family history is important in diagnosis. However, this disease can be determined by tests.

Treatment differs according to the type of glaucoma

In the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, the progression of the damage to the optic nerve is stopped or slowed down by lowering the intraocular pressure. The drugs included in the treatment must be used under the supervision of a doctor and for life. In cases where topical drug treatment is not sufficient, laser or different surgical treatments can also be applied. The treatment of narrow-angle glaucoma is urgent and diverse. The crisis often requires first medical intervention followed by surgical treatment. The aim of all glaucoma treatments is to preserve the current condition of the eye.

The aim of all treatments is to preserve the existing condition of the eye. It should be kept in mind that the damage in glaucoma cannot be corrected with treatments, but it is possible to prevent future damage with timely treatment. For this reason, routine eye examinations and follow-up should not be neglected.

Diving and some movements that force the body can adversely affect glaucoma.

Since the rate of worsening of glaucoma in a healthy body will slow down, it is recommended that patients do sports. However, in a special type of glaucoma called pigment dispersion syndrome and pigment glaucoma that will develop as a result, patients should avoid heavy sports. Patients should definitely ask their doctor about the type of glaucoma they have before playing sports. In addition, diving sports and some movements that force the body (for example, some yoga positions) can have a negative effect on glaucoma by increasing intraocular pressure.

Source: (BYZHA) – Beyaz News Agency


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