Glaucoma

El glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when eThe optic nerve is damaged due to increased intraocular pressure. This condition, which initially has no symptoms, must be adequately diagnosed and treated to avoid compromising the patient's vision.

Currently, it is estimated that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the western world, that's why Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain in detail what this condition consists of, its symptoms, prevention and treatment.

Glaucoma

El glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when eThe optic nerve is damaged due to increased intraocular pressure. This condition, which initially has no symptoms, must be adequately diagnosed and treated to avoid compromising the patient's vision.

Currently, it is estimated that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the western world, that's why Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain in detail what this condition consists of, its symptoms, prevention and treatment.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that manifests when the optic nerve is damaged due to increased eye pressure. This condition produces progressive loss of vision and, if not treated in time, could lead to irreversible blindness.

The trigger for this pathology occurs when the eye is not able to adequately drain intraocular fluid or aqueous humor. If the drainage system of the eye is blocked, fluid accumulates inside the eye, increasing intraocular pressure by not being able to exit.

High pressure compresses the small capillaries that nourish the optic nerve, hindering the supply of oxygen and nutrients and damaging its fibrillar structure, this damage progressively compromises visionTherefore, it is essential to detect this condition early and apply the appropriate treatment to prevent it from developing into blindness.

Factors riesgo

There are several risk factors that can increase our possibility of suffering from glaucoma, knowing them is important because if we are in the risk group, annual ophthalmological checkups from the age of 35 will be essential to detect the possible presence of this condition and apply timely treatment.

This eye disease is more common:

  • In patients 60 over years.
  • People with family background of glaucoma older than 40 years.
  • Suffer from myopiaHypertensiondiabetes or circulatory disorders increases the possibility of suffering from this condition.
  • This disease has a higher incidence in African American or Hispanic people.
  • La taking drugs such as anxiolytics, antidepressants, or steroids They can also increase the risk of glaucoma.

Glaucoma symptoms

In most cases, the glaucoma is asymptomatic, that is, the increased intraocular pressure there is no apparent discomfort, the patient does not notice anything and this causes the disease to continue to progress silently without alerting the affected person.

Precisely this characteristic makes glaucoma one of the most frequent causes of blindness worldwide, since the lack of periodic check-ups could compromise the patient's visual health. The damage that occurs in the optic nerve will injure the internal tissues until the loss of vision begins, at this point the patient may present the following symptoms:

  • Loss of vision in the peripheral area of ​​the campor visual, which produces a reduction in contrasts and alteration of colors.
  • If it advances, the loss of central visionThe patient will begin to experience tunnel vision that indicates that the optic nerve is severely compromised.
  • Only in the acute forms of angle-closure glaucoma, there is a severe pain that moves the patient to see the ophthalmologist, although it only represents 1% of the cases.
glaucoma

Glaucoma Pathogenesis: The aqueous humor has difficulty getting out of the eye through the trabelcular angle (A), it accumulates in the iterior and increases the pressure, causing the compression of the blood vessels and the ischemia of the Optic Nerve (B).

Diagnosis

Un comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist it is the only way to effectively diagnose glaucoma. Through a review the specialist will measure intraocular pressure of the eye, check the drain angle eyepiece, check the peripheric vision y examine the optic nerve to assess the status of it.

It is recommended that anyone with risk factors for glaucoma be examined annually starting at age 35. Also, all people over 60 years should have an annual exam in order to rule out the presence of glaucoma. This is the only way to prevent the advancement of this condition and guarantee the health of our vision.

Glaucoma Treatment

In most cases, the glaucoma treatment is aimed at reducing intraocular pressure resorting to topical medication. In specific cases, surgery can also be used. The decision about which is the most suitable option can only be made by a glaucoma specialist.

Topical medication

Since the cause of glaucoma is usually a deficit in the drainage of intraocular fluid, the first action is to partially close the tap, which synthesizes aqueous humor. For this, we use eye drops that have a high degree of efficacy, although they are not exempt from side effects, some produce alterations in the heart or respiratory level, for this reason it is necessary to carry out, in addition to strict ophthalmological control, a systemic study by the internist.

It is essential never to stop or change the treatment without the approval of the ophthalmologist, as this could lead to an advance of the condition that compromises our vision.

Laser treatment and surgery

When eye drops are insufficient to control the disease or there is a contraindication to their use, we resort to measures designed to improve the output of aqueous humor. We can basically do a laser treatment to drain the aqueous humor, or filtering surgery to create a new drain hole. The laser has not proven to be very effective in the long term, so it is usually recommended to glaucoma surgery.

In the surgery we bet on non-perforating techniques which in recent years have become the techniques of choice. Our Ophthalmology department has been one of the pioneers in introducing this surgery in Spain, with new contributions that have allowed us to improve the results.

In the Ophthalmology department of Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We have always been very sensitive to this disease, which is why we have a Unit dedicated exclusively to Glaucoma, staffed by professionals with a amphe experience in the medical and surgical diagnosis and treatment of this pathology.

In this Unit we have the new systems for taking non-contact intraocular pressure and corneal biomechanics adjustment (ORA), campcomputerized imetry, papilla topography (OCT), polarimetric study of retinal fibers (GDx) and high resolution ultrasound for the study of the anterior segment (UBM).

Glaucoma news

In recent years we have learned more about glaucoma and there have also been technological advances that help us diagnose, prevent and treat this disease. Perhaps the most significant is the fact that the simple taking of intraocular pressure, although it is a first diagnostic factor, is not enough to reveal an incipient glaucoma.

Today we know that the 30% of glaucomas occur without elevation of pressure and that the methods we used to measure this pressure are not as accurate as they should be since there are anatomical and biomechanical factors that induce errors in the values ​​obtained.

For an accurate diagnosis, we must resort to the combination of several tests: pressure measurement with non-contact systems and individual adjustment of corneal biomechanics (corneal hysteresis), campSensitivity threshold imetry, especially with dual-frequency stimuli, and analysis of the Optic Nerve head and nerve fibers using polarimetry. With these three tests we can make an early diagnosis of the disease and establish a very precise follow-up to see if the prescribed treatment is effective.

Another of the great advances refers to the treatment of the disease, we have new eye drops with very effective active ingredients to reduce intraocular pressure and not cause collateral damage, are the derivatives of prostaglandins.

When surgical treatment is required, things have also improved, we have started to use less invasive techniques, it is no longer necessary to enter the eye, we can make a valved filtration system, achieving an effective result and fewer complications.

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Glaucoma
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Glaucoma
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Do you suffer from glaucoma or do you want to know what it is? We explain everything you need to know, symptoms, diagnosis, causes and the best treatment.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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