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Glaucoma is called the `creeping thief of sight´ because it strikes without obvious symptoms. Glaucoma affects people of all ages, from babies to adults. It is estimated that up to 1 million Indians, age 40 and over, have glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can lead to damage to the eye's optic nerve which is responsible for good vision and result in blindness. The internal pressure in the eyes increases enough to damage the nerve fibers. Therefore, the person with glaucoma is usually unaware of it until serious loss of vision has occurred.


The cause of eye damage in some otherwise healthy eyes is a raised pressure within the eye, (the intraocular pressure), that can damage the nerve over a period of time and this damage results in poor blood supply or weak end eye structure.


->Persons who have had eye surgery or an eye injury earlier in life.

->People with very near sightedness or far sightedness.

->Diabetes and certain other chronic diseases.

->African-Americans are more prone to this condition.

->Anyone over the age of 60 are most susceptible.

->People with a family history of glaucoma.

->Persons with heart disease or conditions resulting in sluggish blood flow to the eye are at an increased risk for developing glaucoma.

->Obesity has been identified as a risk factor associated with glaucoma.


1).Open Angle Glaucoma

2).Closed Angle Glaucoma

3).Normal-tension Glaucoma

4).Pigmented Glaucoma

5).Congenital Glaucoma

6).Secondary Glaucoma


It is the most common type of glaucoma. This is completely painless and causes a very gradual loss of vision due to excessive production of fluid inside the eye.

This type of glaucoma is far more rare than open angle glaucoma. It is characterized by blockage of the drainage system of the eye allowing fluid levels inside the eye to build and this results in increased pressure. Onset can be sudden, accompanied with pain and redness of the eye.
It is an emergency case, so treated as early as possible.

This type has normal pressure however it is caused by poor blood flow to the nerve of the eyes called the optic nerve.

Is a hereditary condition typically affecting young, near sighted males.

Is a rare type of glaucoma that is generally seen in infants.

It may be caused by injuries to the eye, tumors, and other eye diseases.


Glaucoma is an insidious disease because it rarely causes symptoms, however some glaucomas do have signs like :-

->Loss of side vision.

->Extreme eye pain and headaches.

->Difficulty in adjusting to a dark room.

->Nausea and vomiting.

->Watering and increased sensitivity to light, with appearance of halos around lights.

->Blurring of vision.

->Need for frequent changes of glasses.(photophobia)


Early diagnosis is the key to prevention of blindness from glaucoma. People who are 40 or older should have a yearly dilated eye examination.


1). Glaucoma can be diagnosed by a simple and painless measurement of pressure in the eye. This test is called tonometry.

2). In congenital type, sensitivity to light, redness of the eye and haziness are the main symptoms. Congenital glaucoma affects more boys than girls.

3). Another test called the Arden Screening Test is used to confirm the diagnosis of glaucoma it is a color test which shows vision changes that occur before problems appear.

4). The progression of glaucoma is monitored with regular visual field tests and optic nerve photography.


->Vision lost due to glaucoma cannot be restored.

The treatment for glaucoma depends upon the nature and severity of each case. A person should understand that glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early, it can be controlled.


Medicines are the most common early treatment for glaucoma. They come in the form of eye drops and pills. Eye drops lower pressure either by decreasing the amount of fluid produced by the eye or increasing the drainage of fluid from the eye.


There are two types of surgery for glaucoma:

(1): Conventional surgery:

The purpose of surgery is to make a new opening for the fluid to leave the eye. A tiny piece of the wall of the eye is removed, leaving a small hole through which fluid can drain. This lowers the eye pressure. It is usually done in a hospital or as an outpatient.

(2): Laser Surgery:

Also known as laser trabeculoplasty is done with a tiny light beam directed on the drainage site to help the eye fluids to drain better. A high-energy beam of light is aimed at the lens and reflected onto the meshwork inside the eye. The procedure is short and generally causes little to no pain.


Though there are reasonable considerations for non- traditional treatment for Glaucoma none are a substitute for medical care and treatment.
Holistic medicine is a system of health care that assists individuals in harmonizing mind, body, and spirit. Some of its more popular therapies include good nutrition, physical exercise, and self-regulation techniques including meditation. This is being carried out by Glaucoma patients.




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