A group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve is known as glaucoma, usually as a result of an increase in intraocular pressure. Usually, this increase in pressure in the optic nerve has no symptoms and can result in the loss of progressive vision without the patient being aware of it (this is why it is known as “silent blindness”).
Glaucoma appears more frequently in patients with a family history of it (genetic factors), but it also appears in conjunction with certain diseases such as diabetes, high myopia or hyperopia, eye trauma, the use of certain drugs (topical corticosteroids), intraocular inflammation, etc.
How can we prevent glaucoma?
Being a disease that does not produce symptoms until it is very advanced, the best strategy with glaucoma is the early detection of it. When we diagnose glaucoma in the beginning we can prevent its progression and significant damage to the optic nerve if we indicate the appropriate treatments in time.
To prevent glaucoma we recommend:
Visit your ophthalmologist regularly: he is the only professional trained to detect glaucoma early.
If you have a family history of glaucoma, or suffer from a disease that predisposes to glaucoma, perform your checks more frequently.
Exercise moderately on a regular basis, take care of your diet and avoid being overweight, avoid toxic substances (alcohol and tobacco) and do not abuse coffee or other excitements.
I have been diagnosed with glaucoma. Do I have treatment?
Although the treatment of glaucoma is not curative, it has been shown to prevent its progression, with which we can stop or slow the progression of the disease.
The strategy in the treatment of glaucoma is always the same: decrease intraocular pressure, and this can be done in different ways, depending on the type of glaucoma and its causes.
Medical treatment: these are mainly drops (eye drops) of different types, which alone or in combination can lower intraocular pressure. They are the first step in the treatment of glaucoma, and can be effective for a long time or just a few months.
Laser treatment: there are different types of laser depending on the form of glaucoma that we are treating. Basically, we treat laser with narrow or closed angle glaucoma (YAG laser iridotomy) or chronic open angle glaucoma (selective trabeculoplasty or SLT). They may be indicated in some cases but have a more limited effectiveness than surgery.
Surgical treatment: it is the most effective for lowering intraocular pressure, although it is left for cases that do not respond to medical treatment. There are many procedures depending on the type and severity of glaucoma, but the most used and innovative are MIGS treatments (Glaucoma micro invasive surgeries, such as i-Stent) and non-perforating glaucoma surgery (or EPNP) since they are more effective and with lower surgical risks.
If you want to avoid the risk of a possible increase in pressure in the eye and damage the optic nerve generated by glaucoma, we invite you to visit us to study your case, so that there are no symptoms that totally affect to the vision
To learn more, visit these links from Dr. Belda’s blog.