Glaucoma- A Medical Emergency

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Glaucoma is a group of conditions that cause damage to your optic nerve, which is a cluster of cells that communicate between the eye and brain. It usually occurs due to abnormally high pressure in your eyes. Glaucoma can occur at any age, but it is common in old aged people and is the most common cause of blindness in people above the sixties. With increasing age, you must visit an ophthalmologist for screening tests, as they can help in preventing many eye diseases. If you or your family member faces any problem in seeing objects, go to the emergency department of Fauji Foundation Hospital Lahore urgently.

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Generally, open-angle glaucoma does not show any symptoms. The person may not have any complaints at first. Therefore, it is essential to get a regular check-up of your eyes. However, it may show the symptoms of tunnel vision or loss of peripheral vision gradually.

Acute angle glaucoma is a medical emergency. If not treated at an earlier stage, it can result in blindness. It may show the following symptoms.

Severe eye pain

Halos around lights

Difficulty in seeing in the dark

Blurred vision

Reddening of eye

Severe headache

What are the Causes of Glaucoma?

Our eyes contain a fluid called aqueous humor that is essential for its health and provides nourishment to them. Moreover, it needs to drain through a meshed network. When the network gets blocked, the fluid inside our eyes accumulates. Hence, increasing the pressure inside our eye, which can also damage the optic nerve. Since the optic nerve helps in the visualization of objects, any damage to it can cause blindness. The exact cause of this blockage is unknown. But sometimes it can occur due to genetic tendency, which means parents can pass it over to their children through genes.

Also, the exact cause of glaucoma is unknown. But mostly, it occurs due to increased fluid pressure in the eye. Another reason for glaucoma can be a lack of blood supply to the nerves.

Other less common causes of glaucoma include the following ones.

Blunt injury to your eye

Exposure of the eye to any chemical

Inflammation of eye

Eye infections

What are the Risk Factors of Glaucoma?

The risk factors of glaucoma can be

Age above 40

Family history of glaucoma

Diabetes

Poor vision

Having corneas thinner than usual

Injury to the eye

Sickle cell anemia

Taking steroid medications like prednisolone for a long time

Hypertension

High eye pressure

Farsightedness

Nearsightedness

What are the Treatment Options For Glaucoma?

Medications

Your healthcare provider may prescribe you medications as well as eye drops to lower eye pressure. The treatment of glaucoma aims to reduce eye pressure. A single medicine or combination may help in doing that.

Surgery

You may need surgery if medications do not work well. Surgery includes laser treatment, creating a drainage flap in your eye, inserting a drainage valve, or destruction of the tissue that causes accumulation of fluid in the eye. Surgery will not help in reversing the damage glaucoma has already done, but it can help in stopping its progression.

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Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency that can be treated through laser, a procedure called iridectomy. It is a procedure in which the opthalmologist would create a hole in the iris to allow the fluid to drain.

Conclusion

Glaucoma is a medical emergency that can cause blindness if not treated at the right time. Regular eye screening can help in preventing it. Many people do not know about it until they get peripheral loss of vision. If you or anyone in your family suffers from loss of vision or difficulty in seeing, visit Fatima Memorial Hospital Lahore.

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