Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by the damage of eye nerves which linked to the increasing pressure to the eye. The damage is permanent and causing disturbance to our vision and may cause total blindness.
Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness in the world, especially in Asia. Glaucoma damaging the vision slowly so people with glaucoma not realise the damage until it reached an advanced stage. It surely unsettling, so we suggest to undergo a routine check-up even if you’re young and healthy. Glaucoma screening is especially very important if you have someone with glaucoma in the family, if you’re over 40 years old, or if you have Diabetes Mellitus.
Two of the most common Glaucoma types are Primary Open Angle Glaucoma and Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma, which both of them have a different kind of mechanism.
There’s a liquid called Aqueous Humour inside the eyeball. The Aqueous Humour produced by an eye organ called Ciliary Body. The Aqueous Humour will flow from the back of the pupil to the front chamber of the eye and then flowing out from the corner of the eye chamber. The function of this aqueous liquid are for eye nutrition, to keep the eyeball in shape, and to keep the pressure in the eye ball stable. For Glaucoma patient, there are disturbed on the stability of the liquid produced and the flowing out of the Aqueous Humour so that the pressure on the eyeball become higher than usual.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
In open-angle glaucoma, there is an imbalance in the production and drainage of the clear fluid (called the aqueous humor) that fills the eye's anterior chamber. This type is sometimes called "the silent thief of sight" because in the early stages of the disease there are no warning signs — no pain or vision loss or other hints that something is wrong.
The common symptoms
- Slowly decreasing vision ability, usually in both eyes.
- In advance stage, the vision would like to have a black frame, or often called Tunnel Vision.
Tunnel Vision Illustration
Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma
On the Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma, the outflow of aqueous humour barrier caused by the narrowness of the anterior chamber angle. A narrow anterior chamber angle at risk of an acute attack of glaucoma. Acute attack of glaucoma is a condition where there is a sudden increase in eye pressure due to the anterior chamber angle becomes narrow abruptly closed. Patients will typically complain about pain in the eyes, blur vision, red eyes. The pain can even cause a person to experience nausea accompanied by vomiting.
The ophthalmologist may suggest the glaucoma patient to undergo laser treatment to open the anterior chamber angle. For a patient who also have cataract, a cataract operation may become a choice to help opening the closed anterior chamber angle.
Primary Congenital Glaucoma/PCG
Is glaucoma case happened to children under 3 years old. A rare case with 1:10.000 ratio amongst children. Usually detected at 3-6 months old, and in a few case the PCG detected at 3 years old.
Because of the nerve damage occurred in patients with glaucoma is permanent and cannot be cured, early detection and treatment of glaucoma in children is essential to prevent permanent blindness in adulthood.
- A white node on the black part of the children’s eye.
- The black part of the children’s eye appeared bigger than normal.
- Children often reflex to close their eyes, especially in bright light.
- During bright light, children feels pain on the eye.
- The eyes often seen watery.
In contrast to adult glaucoma patients, glaucoma cases in child usually require surgery approach to help control the eye pressure.
Other types of glaucoma.
In addition to the type of glaucoma mentioned above, there are more glaucoma types which also may lead to blindness. Glaucoma due to cataract, trauma / accident, long-term steroid use, postoperative glaucoma eye, and glaucoma as a complication of diabetes mellitus.
Glaucoma is a chronic optic nerve disease and cause blindness to the sufferers. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to control the eye pressure with hopes of controlling or slowing down the optic nerve damage that occurs. The damage occurred is permanent, early detection and early treatment is the most important step in preventing blindness due to glaucoma.
Doctors at JEC will be happy to assist you in conducting the screening glaucoma and perform management of glaucoma management.