Glaucoma Symptoms & Glaucoma Treatment

What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a eye health condition where the fluid pressure within the eye (known as the intraocular pressure) increases.

If the intraocular pressure remains too high for too long, this will result in damage to the optic nerve, loss of vision and eventually blindness. Glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes, but often first begins in one eye only.

Glaucoma Symptoms
Often, there are no symptoms in the initial stage for Glaucoma - just like the experience of this Glaucoma patient.

However, do take note if the following eye health problems occurs:

  • Eye or facial pain
  • Red eyes
  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • An enlarged cornea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cloudy vision with coloured halos appearing around lights
  • Frequent changes of eyeglasses, none of which is satisfactory
  • Inability to adjust the eyes to darkened rooms, such as theatres
  • Gradual loss of peripheral vision
  • Headaches

Glaucoma Treatment
Glaucoma Treatment involves normalising both the in-flow and drainage of fluid (the aqueous humor) in the eye, to restore the normal balance of inner-eye pressure. Both medical and surgical approaches have high rates of success in glaucoma treatment.

Chronic glaucoma treatment is managed with eye drops containing epinephrine or pilocarpine to help increase fluid drainage but may have side effects such as headaches and blurred vision, as in the case of pilocarpine. Use of epinephrine may cause excessively red, teary eyes and in rare cases aggravate heart problems.

If chronic glaucoma does not respond to eye health medication, or the side effects of eye health medication are too much to tolerate, surgery may be recommended.

There are two methods - trabeculoplasty and trabeculectomy.

  • Trabeculoplasty is a procedure where 50 to 100 small laser burns are made at the drainage angle where the iris and cornea meet, increasing the outflow rate of aqueous fluid.
  • Trabeculectomy is a procedure to create an artificial channel for fluid outflow. This procedure is used for advanced cases of glaucoma where the inner-eye pressure is high or where the optic nerve is damaged.

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