Glaucoma is a disease process that gradually affects the optic nerve of the eye- the nerve responsible for the visual function. The disease is so named as the angle- a structure which drains the water inside the eye (aqueous) to maintain the balance thereby maintaining the eye pressure narrows down over a period of time and closes finally. This causes blockage of aqueous drainage and hence increases the eye pressure. The high pressure affects the optic nerve structurally and functionally.
Patients may not have much symptoms. But usually they would have experienced a feeling of heaviness or tightness in eyes, vague headache especially when they do visual tasks in dim light like watching TV, movies etc. Specific evaluation of the angle structures and optic nerves is required to diagnose the condition. Further investigations like visual field evaluation can give details of extent of damage.
The treatment directs at controlling the eye pressure first by drops. But the actual treatment involves creating a hole with the help of Laser in a corner of Iris- the brown part of the eye. This creates an alternate way of aqueous drainage, thereby indirectly controlling the eye pressure. In some patients, the Laser procedure might be required as a preventive measure to prevent complete closure of the angles. Surgery might be required in those patients in whom the disease and the damage progress despite the Laser procedure.
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