WHAT IS A GLAUCOMA (HEIGHTNESS OF EYE PRESSURE)?
Glaucoma causes loss of vision by weakening of the visual nerve due to ever increasing intraocular pressure. It is one of the most serious eye diseases in which visual loss is the most common. Glaucoma can cause irreversible damage to the visual nerve.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF GLAUCOMA? 1) OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA:
85-90% of glaucoma is of this type. In patients with open-angle glaucoma, the disease progresses without a distinct indication. The patient cannot realize his / her illness, and he / she feels the vision deteriorates and decreases as he approaches the last period. However, in this case, the nerve of the eye is severely damaged, and the visual field is very narrow. It is more common in people aged 40 and over. Therefore, these people should have regular eye examinations.
2) CLOSED-ANGLE GLAUCOMA:
5-10% of glaucoma patients form. This type of glaucoma, on the contrary of open-angle glaucoma, occurs with a very noisy picture. Acute glaucoma crisis is described in this table; sudden pain in the eye, redness, blurred and diminished vision, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting may occur. This type of high eye pressure is urgently needed to be decreased with medication. Laser treatment or glaucoma surgery may be required.
GLAUCOMA IS A SERIOUS DISEASE THAT CAUSES VISIBLE LOSS
Glaucoma usually does not give any symptoms until the advanced stages and is difficult to detect unless there is a medical examination. Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease that is slow but progressing continuously, with no characteristic symptoms leading to eye damage and visual loss. It is a disease that causes complete loss of vision when untreated. Therefore, when the diagnosis is made, the qualification and seriousness of the disease should be explained to the patient and their relatives by the doctor.
HOW IS GLAUCOMA DIAGNOSIS?
Especially in the case of chronic open angle glaucoma, if the intraocular pressure is not at very high levels, the disease progresses insidiously without any symptoms. Glaucoma disease is only noticed during routine examinations. Early diagnosis is great importance of glaucoma. Therefore, people who are aged 40 years and over should have regular ophthalmologic examinations and eye pressure measurements made at least once a year.
METHODS FOR DIAGNOSIS OF GLAUCOMA INTRAOCULAR PRESSURE MEASUREMENT: Intraocular pressure can be measured using different methods. Intraocular pressure is normal 22mmHg and less. Between two eyes, the pressure is usually less than 4mmHg. Intraocular pressure measurement does not mean whether the person has glaucoma or not.
CORNEAL THICKNESS (PACIMETRY) MEASUREMENT:
It helps the physician to decide the method of medicine treatment in some patients. The average corneal thickness in the normal population is around 530 microns. In patients with high corneal thickness, eye pressure measurement may increase above the normal value as, or patients with corneal thickness less than 500 microns may have lower eye pressure.
COMPUTERIZED VISUAL FIELD:
As the glaucoma progresses, the narrowing visual field is measured by computerized systems.
OCT: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an examination of the retina and optic nerve fibers using light waves. This process has no side- effects and also known as eye tomography. The damage of OCT and optic nerve fibers can be detected early. Glaucoma can occur in everyone's eye and the only way to prevent vision loss due to disease is early diagnosis. The patient cannot be aware of these losses unless there is significant damage because of the glaucoma in the visual field. For this reason, it is important to have eye examinations in regular periods and tests yearly.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
40 years and older
Low or high blood pressure
Long-term cortisone therapy
GLAUCOMA TREATMENT METHODS1) MEDICATION TREATMENT: There are many drops used in the treatment of glaucoma. These drops reduce intraocular pressure by different mechanisms. Intraocular pressure is attempted to be reduced with a drug. If the intraocular pressure drop is not sufficient, a second drop can be added. If eye pressure is not enough, a third drop can be added or apply other treatment methods.
2) LASER TREATMENT: In patients with glaucoma treatment, laser treatment can be applied before surgery. Laser therapy can reduce intraocular pressure to a normal level. The duration of effect is usually 2-3 years. Laser treatment can be an effective treatment alternative for appropriate patients.
3) SURGICAL TREATMENT (SURGERY):
If the intraocular pressure cannot be reduced to normal level despite all the medications used in the patient with glaucoma, surgery should be performed if the nerve damage is gradually decreasing. If the surgeon thinks the surgery is necessary and if the surgery is postponed, the patient can lose the vision. Glaucoma surgery is performed under local anesthesia. The process that is done in surgery, is to catalyze getting out the intraocular fluid, which is difficult to get out of the eye and causes increased intraocular pressure.