Srinagar, March 17: “Glaucoma (Kala Motia) is a severe eye condition that damages our eye's optic nerve. Being progressive in nature it may get worse over time. This condition is often associated with the buildup of pressure called intraocular pressure within our eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve which sends visual information from the eye to the brain,” says Dr. Shazia Shafi, Senior Glaucoma Specialist at Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, Srinagar,
She adds: “While glaucoma can develop at any age, patients with diabetes and hypertension are more susceptible to this eye condition as these patients are more prone to the risk of eye infection causing glaucoma. It mainly affects people above the age of 40 years. A positive family history of glaucoma is also a very important risk factor. People with a high minus number (myopia), history of eye trauma, or use of corticosteroid medicines for a long time are also more likely to develop the risk of glaucoma.”
Glaucoma is known as the ‘silent thief of vision’ as people may not show any signs or symptoms at first, Dr. Shazia informs. “Its symptoms appear gradually. Once you lose vision, it can't be reversed back. Therefore, it is very important to get your eyes checked regularly. If diagnosed, then follow the treatment religiously. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness or vision loss. It is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.”
Dr. Shazia advises not to overlook the symptoms like blurred vision, persistent headache, the sensation of the dazzle of lights while driving, seeing rings or halos around the light, finding difficulty in low light, and redness in the eye.
For diagnosis, she said that to detect this disease, testing of eye pressure, optical coherence tomography (OCT) test, CT scan of the eye vein, visual field testing, examining the field of vision of the eye, and gonioscopy are conducted.
She advises that early detection is the key to saving vision. “People above 40 years, a family history of glaucoma, eye injury, near-sightedness or myopia, certain conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, migraines and patients on steroids are highly recommended to get regular eye checks in a year,” she says.
“Treatment is followed depending upon the state of glaucoma. Anti-glaucoma medication is the first line of treatment given. Depending upon the staging of the disease your doctor can advise Trabeculectomy surgery or valve surgery also,” Dr. Shazia says.
Detected at an early stage, she says glaucoma can be prevented. “Only treatment is prevention and early detection. Let’s spread awareness about this silent thief of vision. ‘THE WORLD IS BRIGHT, SAVE THE SIGHT’,” she adds.