What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the increase in the pressure of the fluid inside the eye, which leads to the gradual destruction and death of the nerve cells of the optic nerve (one million nerve cells in each eye), as their number gradually and slowly decreases, This results in damage to the optic nerve that gradually increases as the disease progresses.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

The danger of this disease is the absence of symptoms, as the patient does not feel a headache, double vision, or any other symptoms, and therefore the patient does not go to the doctor. Usually, the patient is delayed until the optic nerve is completely eroded within several months in both eyes, and suffers a gradual contraction of the visual field until the patient becomes blind. This is in contrast to the popular belief that glaucoma is accompanied by severe headache and redness of the eye.

Is glaucoma dangerous?

Glaucoma very dangerous and is the second common cause of adult blindness, and it is called the silent thief of the optic nerve because it kills nerve cells without noticeable symptoms for the patient, which makes its detection late in many cases.

How can this disease be diagnosed?

By measuring intraocular pressure periodically over the age of forty, as well as a careful examination of the optic nerve during examination of the fundus. In some cases, we advice to examine the visual field with very advanced devices in order to record the function of the optic nerve.

Does the treatment last for a limited time or for life?

Medical treatment lasts for life, with periodic follow-up.

What are the necessary examinations and modern methods to diagnose and follow-up glaucoma patient?

Visual field examination: This examination aims to know the sensitivity of the retina and the optic nerve at each point of the visual field. This examination is carried out by modern computer-powered devices that analyze the results of the examination to determine the extent of the functional impact of the optic nerve by glaucoma.

Optical coherence tomography of the retinal cells and optic nerve (OCT): recently, the optic nerve can be imaged to measure the thickness of the nerve fibers, to determine the extent to which the cells of the retina and the optic nerve are affected by glaucoma.

How can this disease be treated?

The treatment methods differ according to the eye pressure, optic nerve damage, and the patient’s response to the treatment

Treatment methods are of two types:
Medical treatment with drops that reduce intraocular pressure by reducing the secretion of aqueous fluid inside the eye in order to match the rate of formation with the rate of filtration, and thus the intraocular pressure is regulated.

Surgical treatment by filtration surgeries or implantation of valves to regulate intraocular pressure.

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