What is glaucoma:
Glaucoma is one the leading causes of preventable blindness in the world. Glaucoma is a condition of painless progressive loss of vision because of increased intra ocular pressure (IOP) beyond the tolerance limit of that eye. Also, known as the silent killer of eye sight, because generally it does not cause any symptoms and the central vision is maintained for a long time, whereas the peripheral vision slowly gets more and more constricted, leaving only a central island of vision in advanced cases.
Causes of Glaucoma
There can be a lot of reasons for patients developing glaucoma, it can occur after a trauma, due to the use of some medicines, due to advanced cataract, but in most of the cases the cause is not known. The fluid from within the eye goes out through a 360 circumferential channel, known as the Schlemm’s Canal. The entrance to the canal is guarded by criss cross fibres of Trabecular meshwork. In glaucoma, there is either excess fluid being produced or increased resistance to the outflow of the fluid, thereby causing raised Intraocular pressure which them affects the optic nerve.
Symptoms of glaucoma
- Frequent change in glasses
- Pain especially in low light conditions
- Coloured haloes
- Medical – Single or a combination of eye drops are given to reduce the pressure to an acceptable level and regular follow ups are required to check the progression of glaucoma. More medications may need to be added if the pressure in the eye doesn’t drop down to an acceptable level or there is evidence of further progression of glaucoma. The drops are generally for life, so therefore a thorough and detailed assessment is required by a glaucoma specialist before instituting the therapy
- Laser – Certain types of lasers are also effective in prevention of angle closure glaucoma and open angle glaucoma. Your glaucoma specialist will decide which is the best option for your eyes
- Minimally Invasive iStent Inject – The latest and the most innovative Micro Invasive Glaucoma Surgery comes in the form of small titanium devices which are implanted in the trabecular meshwork, where the maximum resistance to outflow of the fluid occurs. The stents act as passages through which fluid from within the eye goes out without any resistance, thereby reducing the pressure within the eye. Dr Varun Baweja is the first surgeon in India who has been certified for implantation of the iStent Inject in India. He also holds the distinction of having implanted the first iStent Inject in the country. He has completed advanced MIGS training from the UK in iStents and other devices
- Invasive Surgery – (Trabeculectomy) There are other options also for reducing the pressure. They are the traditional methods of creating a alternate pathway for passage of fluid, after removing a part of the layer in the eye and is usually done with the help of sutures applied around the newly created pathway.