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Glaucoma is a group of eye by damage to the optic nerve. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by diseases that gradually cause the decrease in eyesight without warning. Vision loss is caused glaucoma may not know they have it. Although IOP (intraocular pressure) is clearly a risk factor of optic nerve damage, other factors must also be involved because even people with “normal” levels of pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma.

There is no cure for primary open angle glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.

Types of glaucoma

  1. Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG): Open angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is usually chronic. It is divided into high IOP and normal IOP.
  2. Narrow Angle Glaucoma:
    • chronic narrow angle glaucoma: Patients do not typically experience pain and they often seek medical help when vision in severely decreased.
    • Acute narrow angle glaucoma: this type of glaucoma is seen in patients with a narrow anterior chamber angle, which is the space between the iris and cornea where aqueous drainage occurs. Prevalent among Asians. Patients will report eye pain, headaches, vomiting, and sudden decrease in vision. Average age is 40 years old or older. If left untreated, blindness will occur within a week.

Are You at Risk For Glaucoma?

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma. However, certain groups are at higher risk than others

  1. People age over 60 are six times more likely to get glaucoma.
  2. Family members with glaucoma increases risk of glaucoma four to nine times.
  3. Asian People of Asian descent appear to be at some risk for angle closure glaucoma.
  4. Steroid Users. 40% increase in the incidence of ocular hypertension and open angle glaucoma in adults who require approximately 14 to 35 puffs of steroid inhaler to control severe asthma.
  5. History of eye injury. It is important to have your eyes examined regularly. Anyone with high risk factors, should be tested every year or two after age 35.

Glaucoma Diagnosis available at Thai eye center

  1. Tonometry The tonometry test measures the pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP). Your IOP is important in determining your risk for glaucoma. If you have high IOP, careful monitoring of IOP after medications can help prevent vision loss.
  2. Ophthalmoscopy and fundus Ophthalmoscopy is used to examine the inside of the eye, especially the optic nerve. This helps the doctor look at the shape and color of the optic nerve and visualize the extent of optic nerve damage clinically.
  3. Gonioscopy is used to evaluate the anterior chamber angle between the cornea and iris to determine if the angle is open or closed.

  4. Visual field test during this test, you will be asked to look straight ahead and then indicate when a moving light passes your peripheral (or side) vision. This helps draw a “map” of your vision.
  5. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is new technique of optic nerve image scanning. The OCT machine can create a contour map of the optic nerve, optic cup and measure the retinal nerve fiber thickness. This machine can detect loss of optic nerve fibers.
  6. Pachymetry pachymetry test is a simple, quick, painless test to measure the thickness of your cornea. With this measurement, your doctor can better understand your IOP readings, and develop a treatment plan that is right for your condition

Treatment at Thai Eye Center

  1. Eyedrops Glaucoma treatment often starts with medicated eyedrops. Be sure to use the drops exactly as prescribed and follow up regularly as assigned
  2. Oral medications If eyedrops alone don't bring your eye pressure down to the desired level, your doctor may also prescribe an oral medication. Doctors commonly prescribe carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, such as acetazolamide (Diamox), for glaucoma. Take these pills with meals to reduce side effects. Add bananas and apple juice to your diet to minimize the potassium loss caused by these medications.
  3. Laser surgery. In the last couple of decades, a procedure called trabeculoplasty. This is an office procedure lasting 10 to 20 minutes, and you can usually resume normal activities.
  4. Laser iriotomy is used to prevent and treat acute angle closure glaucoma in people who have narrow angle.
  5. Filtering surgery. If eyedrops and laser surgery aren't effective in controlling your eye pressure, you may need an operation called a filtering procedure or trabeculotomy.