The eyes are one of the most important senses. As age advances, preserving your vision must be of utmost importance. Loss of eyesight is one of the important concerns, especially in old age. Protecting your eyes will help reduce blindness and vision loss. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. Combined with an aging population we can see an epidemic of blindness booming if we don't raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision.
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.Anand Shroff is an experienced eye surgeon in Mumbai. He is an eminent Glaucoma Specialist, at Shroff Eye Hospital. Shroff Eye Hospital has 100 years of excellence in eye care services. They have 3 generations of ophthalmologists treating over 4 generations of patients. They have been accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) 5 times in a row since 2006 for quality ophthalmic services of international standards. They have specialist ophthalmologists who provide comprehensive ophthalmic services to our patients at both the branches at Bandra West and Marine Drive.
Factors cause blindness in the case of glaucoma
Dr. Anand Shroff says, “The aqueous humor is the clear fluid circulating within and nourishing some parts of the eye which have no blood supply. Individuals with normal eye conditions have an equal production and drainage of this fluid resulting in a constant pressure within the eye. If the drainage of this fluid is compromised due to any reason or blocked, there is a pressure build-up in the eye. This increased pressure can damage the optic nerve causing the beginning of irreversible blindness. This condition is called glaucoma, and it can deteriorate with time if left undiagnosed or untreated, forming tunnel vision which can lead to blindness.”
Optic nerve damage in glaucoma
Dr.Shroff informs, “The role of the optic nerve is to carry images to the brain, which are then perceived as vision. Minute nerve fibers from various parts of the retina join to form the optic nerve. Glaucoma results when the pressure within the eye is high enough to be detrimental to the normal functioning of these nerve fibers, some of which stop functioning. Non-functional nerve fibers result in a loss of retinal function in the area from where they originate, leading to defects in the field of vision from the edges of the circular vision forming a tunnel vision in the long run. An examination of the optic nerve (after dilation of the eye) and tests like Intraocular Pressure (IOP), Visual Field Analysis and OCT-Glaucoma, determine the way forward.”
Glaucoma is irreversible
Dr.Shroff states, “Glaucoma is called a ``sneak thief of sight `` because it is painless and symptomless and stands as one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the world. People with glaucoma, especially the elderly are usually unaware of the vision loss as it starts affecting their peripheral vision. It is only after much loss of vision has occurred that some may notice a deterioration in sight. So, unfortunately, yes, the loss of vision is irreversible!
However, it is important to recognize that further visual loss is preventable or that vision can be stabilized with early detection and regular treatment. At Shroff Eye Hospital, the intraocular pressure (IOP) check is included as part of our routine consultation for all patients undergoing an eye examination to be able to catch Glaucoma in its early stage. We, therefore, encourage you to get an annual dilated eye examination as a preventive health checkup of your eyes.” says Dr.Shroff
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)