Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. If affects the people over the age of 40 mostly but children’s and young adults also tend to have this glaucoma. Prevalence also increases with age i.e people over 70 have a prevalence 3–8 times higher than people in their forties.
What is glaucoma
A glaucoma is a group of multifactorial ocular conditions in which optic nerve is damaged ultimately affecting the visual field loss. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the factors responsible for the damage. The role of IOP in glaucoma damage is variable.
What is normal intraocular pressure (IOP)
The line between normal and abnormal intraocular pressure is not clear. Based on several large studies, the normal IOP is usually 10-21 mmHg. In healthy individuals without any glaucoma, the average IOP is roughly 16 mmHg, with a standard deviation of 2.5.
Who gets glaucoma?
Glaucoma mostly affects people over the age of 40. but still, the young adults, children, and infants also get glaucoma.
The risk factors are,
- Age – adults over 40;
- Gender – Women’s are more likely to develop PAC glaucoma;
- Refractive error – High myopia is strongly associated with POAG and Hyperopia is associated with PAC glaucoma;
- Positive Family History – A family history seems to be strong risk factors for PACG;
Most of the times people do not see any glaucoma signs because the first sign is often a loss of peripheral or side vision. They can go unnoticed till the late severe stage. Therefore detecting glaucoma at the early stage can slow down the progression.
Most common symptoms like,
- Redness in the eye;
- Eye pain;
- Narrowed vision (tunnel vision);
- Nausea or vomiting;
- Vision loss;
Who is glaucoma suspect?
Some people have no signs of damage but have high pressure inside the eyes (called Ocular Hypertension). A glaucoma suspect is an individual who has an open angle on gonioscopy and one of the following findings in at least one eye:
1. Optic nerve suspicious for glaucoma;
2. Visual-field defect consistent with glaucoma;
3. Elevated intraocular pressure consistently greater than 22 mmHg;
How do they diagnose?
During a glaucoma exam, your optometrist or ophthalmologist will:
1. Measures your eye pressure instrument called tonometer;
2. Examines your acquires drainage angle with gonioscopy;
3. Examines your optic nerve for damage;
4. Test your peripheral (side) vision [Visual field test];
5. Take a picture or computer measurement of your optic nerve;
6. Measures your cornea thickness with pachymetry;