Eyes are windows to the soul. The eyes are one of the important senses. 80 % of what we perceive comes through eyes. Eyes let you see the beauty around you. The thought of the loss of vision can be very scary. As age advances, loss of eyesight is one of the important concerns in old age. Protecting your eye will help reduce the loss of sight and vision. A glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that results in damage of the optic nerve, which is vital for normal vision. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. At Medicircle, we are conducting an awareness series on Glaucoma with Eminent Ophthalmologists for the World Glaucoma Day to boost awareness and educate people about eye health.
Dr.Seema Behl is a practicing eye surgeon with experience of 28 years. Dr. Seema Behl practices at the Smart Vision Eye clinic in Mumbai. The clinic is the brainchild of Dr.Seema Behl who after commendable contributions from various organizations like Kokilaben Ambani Hospital wanted to explore something new. Dr. Seema Behl has 25 years of comprehensive experience in the field of Opthalmology and has worked in a number of reputed eye institutes. Her current engagement is as a Consultant Eye Surgeon with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital for last past 10 years. She has special areas of interest in Glaucoma, Cataract, and Refractive surgery.
Risk factors for glaucoma
Dr.Seema Behl says, “There are around 12 million people worldwide suffering from glaucoma. Half of them are not aware that they suffer from glaucoma due to a lack of awareness. Glaucoma does not show any major symptoms in the initial stages. Glaucoma and cataract are age-related diseases.
People above the age of 40 are at higher risk and with every passing decade the risk increases. With aging, the risk factor of glaucoma increases every year. Ethnicity plays a major role as far as risk factors are concerned in glaucoma. Glaucoma is more seen in African, Japanese, and Chinese people. Genetics and family history also plays a major role in glaucoma. This requires more care. People having hypertension and diabetes are also a major risk. Past injury to the eye is another risk factors People suffering from autoimmune disorders and taking steroids are at higher risk”
Glaucoma is a manageable disease
Dr.Seema Behl states, “Glaucoma has two aspects
The damage that happened due to glaucoma cannot be reversed during the initial stages Complications and severe consequences of glaucoma like loss of vision and blindness can be prevented provided the diagnosis is done at the right time”
Cure of glaucoma
Dr. Behl informs, “We cannot say there is no cure for glaucoma. There are two aspects to glaucoma. Understanding glaucoma is important. Glaucoma is a disorder of the optic nerve. In glaucoma, the eye pressure increases resulting in damage of the optic nerve. Any damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed. The pressure of the eyes can be controlled and further damage to the optic nerve can be prevented. For example, nobody can cure diabetes. On similar lines, there is no magic potion and achieve a cure for glaucoma. Once it is diagnosed and treated, it is a manageable disease. There is no cure but it is a manageable disease.
Important factors to be taken care of by Glaucoma treatment
Dr.Behl explains, “The factors affecting glaucoma are :
Awareness of glaucoma Regular and detailed eye check-up at the doctor Early diagnosis at initial stages of glaucoma Family history of glaucoma Regular follow up is a must every 3 -4 months Tailored treatment for glaucoma patients as per doctors advise In certain cases, aggressive follow up with surgery and LASIK is important Religious and routine habit to take treatment Taking care of your eyes with all these aspects is important to prevent blindness and vision loss.”
Preserving the eye vision is important in glaucoma
Dr. Behl says, “With treatment of glaucoma, we are aiming to prevent the progression of the disease and further damage. There are patients who strictly follow the treatment regime while others are happy-go-lucky as they are asymptomatic with delayed follow up which results in further damage to the eye. Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight. In the early stages, there are no symptoms till a routine check-up is done. By the time the symptoms of glaucoma crop up resulting in peripheral loss of vision, one-third of the optic nerve is already dead. By the time it is diagnosed, the eyesight is already taken away by glaucoma.”
Important advice for a glaucoma patient
Dr. Behl informs, “The following should be followed by glaucoma patient:
Follow doctors advise Follow low-calorie diet Reduce the intake of caffeine Headstand in yoga and certain postures should be avoided Too much fluid intake at one go increases eye pressure “
(Edited by Dr.Rati Pawani )