News » Glaucoma explained, the disorder of the optic nerve too often overlooked
Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve resulting in a deterioration of the visual field.
This disorder is caused, in most cases, by increased pressure inside the eye. Unfortunately, the case of a fairly frequent and insidious disease that, very often, is disclaimed.
It is estimated that, even about 50% of patients, ignoring the presence of that disease which, if diagnostic and treated promptly, may be blocked in producing dire consequences such as low vision and blindness.
The numbers of glaucoma and its types
In Italy, it is estimated that about one million people are affected by this visual disability after cataract, glaucoma is the most common disorder.
Inside the eye is the aqueous humor, a liquid that is continuously produced and reabsorbed. The non-aqueous humor reabsorption, with the passing of time, cause damage to the eyeball, in particular to the optic nerve head, located in the central area of the retina.
The right-angle glaucoma accounts for about 80% of cases and is the most frequent form. And \'the consequence of an obstacle that meets the aqueous humor in the drain. In a silent way, it develops slowly, occurring when the optic nerve reaches advanced damage. A careful eye examination may prove vital as able to diagnose the disorder before it causes serious and irreversible damage.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma, however, is caused by a sudden increase in intraocular pressure caused by occlusion irido corneal angle. This acute attack of glaucoma is very serious and if not treated in time, can lead to blindness in no time.
Congenital glaucoma is caused by a bad eye drainage from birth. It \'very rare and is manifested by discomfort to excessive light and tearing of the child. Very important is to then carry out inspection visits to the child already at the first onset of a suspicious symptoms.
Secondary glaucoma is a consequence of other diseases (such as thrombosis or diabetes), but also of inflammatory states, hemorrhage, tumors, use of particular drugs which cause hindrance to the outflow.
Diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma
An early diagnosis of glaucoma is definitely very important. A complete eye examination allows control of the following parameters:
The intraocular pressure of the eye: through the tonometer is possible to evaluate the pressure within the eyeball to identify a possible increase.
The appearance of the optic nerve: with the use of the ophthalmoscope, you can check any increase in papillary excavation.
The same sensitivity in the various areas of the retina: by computed visit. It \'an important exam which assesses the effectiveness of these therapies than the previous two methods.
Monitoring and evaluation of the optic disc: to be carried out with the latest technological methods. These are new technologies that allow, in a simple and all-invasive manner, to study the optic disc, measuring the thickness of the various nerve fibers around it. The information collected is complementary to other clinical assessments.
The first treatment of glaucoma is, definitely, pharmacological, and makes use of the eye drops instillation in order to lower the eye pressure. If this treatment does not bring good results it is good to resort to more daily dosing with various drugs.
The laser treatment, in the final analysis, it is often a good response but, some times, does not guarantee long-lasting results: in this case we have to fall back on the surgical approach that employs intervention of trabeculectomy.
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