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Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma can be described as a series of eye diseases, which result in optic nerve damage. Hence, people suffering from glaucoma also tend to experience loss of vision, over a period of time. While there are several factors that could lead to these eye problems, a high amount of pressure in the eye, known as intraocular pressure is one of the most common ones. Studies indicate that glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in people. Unfortunately, the damage to vision is so gradual that patients may not even notice that they are suffering from this problem, till the disease reaches an advanced stage.
The most common type of glaucoma in people is open angle glaucoma. There are several different glaucoma treatment options, which may vary, based on the type of glaucoma as well as the patient’s age or medical history.

The most common open angle glaucoma treatment adopted by most eye specialists includes the certain type of laser surgery, known as trabesculoplasty. In this procedure, the doctor uses anesthetic glaucoma treatment eye drops, before using a high energy laser beam so that the clogged drainage canals can be opened and the aqueous humor drains from the eye. Glaucoma treatment with laser beam procedure lasts for around 10 to 20 minutes and the patient resumes normal activities within a short span of time. In most cases, glaucoma treatment surgery with laser techniques reduces the pressure in the eyes.

Most doctors regard acute glaucoma as an emergency and therefore, it needs to be treated as early as possible. The first step of acute glaucoma treatment is the use of medication, to reduce the pressure in the eyes as soon as possible. Glaucoma treatment guidelines for acute glaucoma could also include an iridotomy, which is a laser procedure to create a tiny hole in the iris, to allow the aqueous humor to pass to the trabecular network. It is usual for doctors to advise people to undergo the iridotomy on one eye at a time, since there is a slight risk that the drainage angle in the other eye will close.

In case the condition is not too severe, there are many people who prefer to opt for glaucoma treatment with natural herbs like Ginkgo Biloba and Bilberry. While it is acceptable to expedite and enhance glaucoma treatment with natural remedies, it is important to use the right medication too.

Several health experts also advise people to follow a glaucoma treatment diet, which mainly contains foods that are high in mega-3 fatty acids, to reduce intraocular pressure. The intake of sugar, high carb foods and junk should be restricted.

Glaucoma Causes

Glaucoma causes and symptoms usually vary, based on the type of glaucoma that is affective a patient. Since the treatment for each type of glaucoma may vary, it is important for people to identify what the possible causes of glaucoma could be. Glaucoma, which is common in many elderly people, often occurs due to increase pressure in the eyes, damage to the optic nerve, blockage in the drainage angle and iris bulges. Factors that could lead to glaucoma in people usually include eye injuries, tumors, inflammation and advanced cataract. People suffering from diabetes are also more likely to suffer from glaucoma.

The symptoms of primary open angle glaucoma include the slow and gradual loss of peripheral vision in both the eyes and tunnel vision in the advanced phase. In case of acute angle closure glaucoma, the symptoms include severe pain in the eyes, visual disturbances, appearance of halos around lights, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and reddening of the eye. Some of the symptoms of glaucoma are more severe as compared to the others, such as, pain in the eyes or eyebrows and severe headaches. Therefore, it is important for people to consult a doctor as soon as any of the glaucoma symptoms become evident.

Glaucoma Surgery

The most common way to treat glaucoma is by carrying out a surgery on the eyes. Some of the most common glaucoma surgery types include iridotomy, laser surgery, filtering surgery and drainage implants. However, there are several other types of surgery too that may be recommended, based on factors such as the type of glaucoma and the patient’s health.

Glaucoma surgery recovery guidelines and timeline plays a very important role for a patient too. For a laser glaucoma surgery, the patient is supposed to take care for a couple of days, were strenuous activities, such as straining, bending and lifting heavy objects should be avoided. In case of a conventional glaucoma surgery, the recovery process could take around 3 to 4 weeks. Based on the patient’s overall health, at times, a person may also take months to recover completely. Fortunately, glaucoma surgery risks are quite rare, in both conventional and laser surgery.

Like with any other medical procedure, there are certain glaucoma surgery side effects that people should be aware of too. Some of the possible glaucoma surgery complications that may crop up in case of laser techniques include eye irritation, tearing, redness, and swelling. With conventional surgery, people face a higher risk of complications, such as bleeding, infections and pain. It is important for a doctor to check these side effects, which is why regular checkups are important after a surgery.

Glaucoma Symptoms

What are glaucoma signs?

The symptoms of glaucoma differ, based on the type of glaucoma that a person is suffering from. One of the common open angle glaucoma symptoms experienced by people includes loss of side vision, followed by central vision loss. However, since the loss in vision is such a gradual process, most people do not recognize the symptoms until much later.

Narrow angle glaucoma symptoms are only evident in case of an attack; between attacks, the symptoms are absent. Some of the most widely noticed acute glaucoma symptoms include eye pain, nausea, vomiting, redness, blurred vision and the appearance of halo around lights.

In case glaucoma symptoms like eye pressure and pain are evident, it may be best to seek emergency medical attention. At times glaucoma symptoms like headache could also require immediate treatment.

Though very rare, at times parents may also notice certain glaucoma symptoms in children too. Some of the most common glaucoma symptoms in children include excessive tearing, high sensitivity to light, blinking more than normal and cloudy corneas.
Submitted on January 16, 2014