Are You At Risk of Silently Losing Your Vision?

14 Mar

“Just like your Blood Pressure is checked regularly, the Intra Ocular Pressure or IOP should be checked for every person undergoing an eye examination to screen for an eye condition called ‘Glaucoma’ since it can occur in the absence of any symptoms.

Further, Persons With Family History of Glaucoma can undergo a sensitive test- SWAP Test which detects changes in eye when glaucoma is suspected well before the optic nerve shows the effects of Glaucoma”, says Dr. Anand Shroff, Glaucoma Specialist at Shroff Eye Hospital

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, especially for older people. However, visual loss is preventable or can be stabilized with early diagnosis and treatment.

This disease is called the ‘Thief of Sight’ because it is painless, symptom less and irreversible. Therefore, persons with glaucoma are usually unaware of it until much loss of vision, especially the peripheral vision has occurred. In fact, half of those suffering damage from glaucoma do not know it!! Glaucoma damages the optic nerve because of high pressure within the eye, leading to defects in the field of vision. If the entire optic nerve is damaged, it results in irreversible blindness. Early detection and regular treatment are the keys to preventing optic nerve damage and blindness from glaucoma.

There are few conditions related to this disease that tend to put some people at greater risk. This may apply to you if:

a)   Someone in your family has a history of glaucoma, though not always necessary that it could be hereditary.

b)   If you are over 40 {could be earlier if you have a family member suffering from glaucoma} and have not had your eyes examined regularly by an ophthalmologist, not an optician.

c)    Near-sightedness {myopia}

d)   Any injury to your eyes

e)   Secondary to other ocular conditions (cataract, inflammations in the eye, tumours etc.}

f)     Long term medication {cortisone}. This holds for those who use eye drops injudiciously, particularly Pyrimon and other steroids, and repeat their prescription for red eye treatment with their chemists without consulting doctors. It is therefore, very important that youngsters who have contact lens-induced and other allergies, and those who repeatedly suffer from red eyes, to be very careful with their use of eye drops. They must visit the ophthalmologist urgently.

g)    Glaucoma is detected by regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

You require annual examinations if you are at risk for glaucoma. Those with glaucoma need to have regular visual field tests done to monitor the progress of the disease. ‘Suspect’ cases with a family history of glaucoma may be required to additionally undergo a highly sensitive form of visual field analysis called short wavelength automated perimetry [SWAP], which detects changes in your eye well before the optic nerve shows the effects of glaucoma. It is also useful to monitor the progress of the condition.

The main treatment for glaucoma aims at reducing the pressure in your eye. Damage already caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. Eye drops, tablets, lasers and surgical operations are used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring. There are different types of glaucoma, but with any type of glaucoma periodic examinations are very important to prevent loss of vision. Because glaucoma can irreversibly worsen without your being aware of it, your treatment may need to be changed from time to time during the periodic examination.

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, the best treatment for you should be decided after a thorough examination and discussion with a glaucoma specialist.

Issued in public interest by Shroff Eye Hospital, Mumbai, India

India’s first LASIK Centre to launch the 500 Hz Wavelight Concerto laser India’s first Eye Hospital to be awarded the JCI- Joint Commission International certification (USA), the Gold standard of Healthcare Internationally.

Open your eyes…to a whole new world

Shroff Eye Hospital and LASIK Centre,

222 S V Rd, Bandra West,

Mumbai –400 050

Ph: 66921000/ 66939372/26431006

Shroff Eye Clinic,

Gobind Mahal, Marine Drive

Mumbai -400002

Ph: 22814077 / 22811863/ 22029242

LASIK Helpline: 98211-63901


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