What is Glacuoma?
It is popularly known as eye pressure. It occurs when increased intraocular pressure damages the nerve cells. When the nerve cells die, it can cause permanent vision loss. No symptoms of the disease are seen at the beginning of the disease. As the disease progresses, it affects the visual nerve. The visual nerve is like an electric cable with a large number of fibers. These fibers transmit images from different areas to the brain. As the nerve is damaged, the visual field deteriorates. Glaucoma can be noticed by many patients only in the advanced stage and when significant visual loss occurs. It is not possible to recover and improve after the loss of vision in Glaucoma. Therefore, early diagnosis is very important.
Does Glacuoma Have Types?
Glaucoma has different classifications. If classified by age, it is possible to speak of congenital, childhood and adulthood. It can also be classified according to the mechanism of Glaucoma formation, according to the width or stenosis of the anterior chamber angle at the site of fluid outflow. It is possible to distinguish such Glaucomas as open angle Glaucomas or narrow angle Glaucomas.
Is It The Same With Eye Pressure?
The diagnosis of Glaucoma is no longer required as high eye pressure as 20 years ago. Nowadays, high intraocular pressure criterion was removed from the definition of Glaucoma. Because even if the intraocular pressure does not rise, the nerve can be damaged. (normal pressured Glaucoma). Therefore, the opinion of the public that ‘eye pressure equals Glaucoma’ is not correct.
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of Glaucoma vary depending on whether they are open or narrow-angled. Open angle Glaucoma is an insidious disease. As the intraocular pressure increases slowly, visual nerve damage progresses slowly. Therefore, patients do not feel pain. The narrow angle type develops more abruptly. Loss of vision, intense pain and hiperemy can be seen.
How To Diagnosis Glaucoma?
First, the intraocular pressure of the patient is measured. The damage to the visual nerve is assessed by testing both structural and functional aspects. The oldest method to investigate the damage to the visual nerve is the visual field test. Optical coherence tomography (OCT), known as visual nerve tomography and retinal tomography, are newer and more advanced diagnostic methods. The worst part of Glaucoma is that it is not possible to expand it again when the visual field is narrowed.
Therefore, the diagnosis of chronic simple Glaucoma is very important in preventing the progression of visual nerve damage. Otherwise, it is not possible to reverse the damage that has occurred so far.
Who Should Be Checked?
Glaucoma is a disease that can occur in any person, at any age. Especially after the age of 35, everyone may have Glaucoma. However, the risk of having Glaucoma is higher when a person has Glaucoma in the family, has diabetes and myopia.
For this reason, 35-year-olds and then 40-year-olds should have an eye examination and those who are at risk should be checked once a year.
Who Is At Risk?
The most important risk group is the most closer relatives such as mother, father and sibling. Under normal circumstances, about 2 percent of 40 years and older are at risk of developing Glaucoma. If the relatives have Glaucoma, this risk increases approximately 6-times. If you have myopia or diabetes, the risk increases twice.
What Are The Treatment Options?
The treatment of Glaucoma is divided into three main categories: medication, laser operation and surgery. Treatment of open angle Glaucoma is usually done primarily with eye drops. In some cases oral pills are also recommended. However, such drugs cannot be used for a long period of time because of the side effects. Oral pills can also be used to prevent damage to the visual nerve in patients with very high intraocular pressure and who need to wait a few days for surgery.
What Is The Frequency In Turkey?
Although the datas are not exact, when looking at hospital records patients with Glaucoma diagnosis are about 100 thousand in Turkey. But we know that there are about 400 thousand Glaucoma patients in our country. That is, about 25 percent of all cases diagnosed with Glaucoma. This is around 55 percent in Western Europe and America. Health ministries in America and Europe are making special screening programs for this disease and trying to raise awareness among people.
How To Treat?
First, we reduce the patient’s eye pressure by either reducing the production of fluid in the eye or increasing the output. There are medicines for both. These medicines are taken at regular intervals every day and are used lifelong. In spite of drug therapy, if the patient’s eye pressure does not decrease and the visual field is narrowed, that is, visual nerve damage progresses, the treatment method is surgery. We cut a hole in the white part of the eye. With this hole, which is so small that it cannot be seen from the outside, we discharge the excess liquid from the eye.
How To Treat With Laser?
The third method in Glaucoma treatment is laser method. The laser method is applied in several ways. The first method is to open the holes to increase the output, the second method is to apply the external laser method to reduce the liquid production of the eye. The aim of all these treatment methods is to preserve the visual field. Because the regeneration of the lost nerve cell is not possible.