“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes progressive and irreversible loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve. It is linked to an increase in the pressure in the eye, called inraocular pressure. This damages the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. If not treated correctly and promptly, glaucoma can cause total and permanent blindness within a few years.

Possible Causes: 

Sometimes excess fluid is produced by the eyes and this fluid is unable to flow out at its normal rate putting pressure on the eyes. This leads to severe nerve damage causing glaucoma. Glaucoma often causes blindness especially in older people. 

Risk Factors: 

If you are at a high risk, then speak to an eye specialist about glaucoma prevention. You need to be cognisant of the following risk factors as  you could lose vision rapidly before any symptoms become apparent.:

  • If you’re over the age of 60 years.
  • Research has shown that glaucoma is hereditary as the genes related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage get passed on.
  • Chronic high intraocular pressure, having thin corneas.
  • If you’re extremely near-sighted or farsighted.
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sickle cell anaemia aggravate this disease.
  • Eye surgery or head injury in the past.
  • Regular ingestion of corticosteroid medications, including eyedrops, for a long time.


Signs & Symptoms: 

The kind of glaucoma symptoms you will have depend on the type and stage of your condition. The loss of vision is extremely gradual, giving you no warning at all, until it’s quite late.

  • Open-angle glaucoma signs include blind spots in your peripheral frequently as well as tunnel vision in the advanced stages.
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma is characterised by severe headache, blurred vision and halo, eye redness and pain, and nausea and vomiting.

Glaucoma eventually causes blindness if not treated in time.

Diagnosis: 

At Medcare, the eye specialist will check your symptoms and conduct glaucoma tests to confirm the diagnosis. Reviewing your medical history, studying your symptoms and performing a comprehensive eye examination is the first step of the diagnosis.

The following tests are done to get a clearer picture of the exact cause of the condition:

  • Tonometry to gauge the intraocular pressure. 
  • Pachymetry to measure the corneal thickness and check if there is thinning of the cornea.
  • Gonioscopy assists the ophthalmologist in observing the angle of drainage of fluid from the eye.
  • Imaging tests and dilating with drops to examine the eye for optic nerve damage. 
  • A visual field test to observe areas of vision loss.

Treatment Options: 

The harm caused by glaucoma is irreversible. However, timely detection and treatment supported by regular check-ups can slow down the progress of the disease and prevent blindness.

The primary objective of the treatment is to reduce the intraocular pressure. In keeping with the stage of your disease, our ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, or surgery.

Initially, eye drops are prescribed as these reduce eye pressure which decreases the fluid that your eye makes and drains it. If eye drops don’t help in reducing eye pressure our specialist may also prescribe a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, which is an oral medication. 

Laser trabeculoplasty using a small laser beam to open clogged channels of the trabecular meshwork is an option if you have open-angle glaucoma. 

During a surgical filtering procedure called a trabeculectomy, our surgeon may cut the sclera to remove some part of the trabecular meshwork. Another glaucoma operation to relieve eye pressure involves inserting a small tube in your eye to drain away excess fluid. 

The eye surgeon may recommend minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) as suitable to your condition. If you have acute angle-closure glaucoma, it calls for urgent treatment to reduce the pressure in your eye. The eye specialists will use both medication and laser or surgical procedures. A laser peripheral iridotomy may be done. 

FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • When should I consult an ophthalmologist for my symptoms of glaucoma?

    A: If you experience severe headache, eye pain and blurred vision you must immediately consult our ophthalmologist. An annual check-up is recommended for everyone over the age of fifty years and earlier for those with a family history of glaucoma. 

  • What are the possible side-effects of taking oral medication for glaucoma?

    A: Oral medication like a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor is prescribed by the doctor. Some of the side effects may be frequent urination, tingling in the fingers and toes, depression, stomach upset, and kidney stones. Hence these medications are prescribed only for a limited period of time.

  • What is the role of the optic nerve in glaucoma?

    A: The optic nerve is an important player. It sends signals from your eye to your brain, which turns them into an image that you can see. When the optic nerve is damaged, there is blurring of the vision and you may even lose your sight. 

  • What is the first sign of glaucoma?

    A: Glaucoma is an eye condition that can lead to partial or complete blindness. If you start noticing blind spots, especially in your peripheral or side vision, you may be at risk of glaucoma and should visit a doctor immediately. 

    Staying pro-active and detecting it early is the best way to deal with glaucoma. 

    Other symptoms could include seeing a halo around lights, nausea, eye ache, headache, blurred vision, and even abdominal pain. A combination of these symptoms, more often than not, result in glaucoma. 

    Have you been ignoring similar symptoms? Book an appointment with a Medcare Eye Specialist today for a consultation.

  • Can glaucoma be cured?

    A: Glaucoma is an irreversible process and hence, cannot be cured. However, you can control glaucoma and prevent any further vision loss. This can be achieved through a combination of medicines, eye drops, and surgical or laser procedures that allow you to significantly reduce the chances of further vision loss, and even blindness. 

    It is also essential to get regular eye check-ups done so the doctor can assess the effects of the treatment and make changes accordingly. Remember, the best treatment for glaucoma is early detection. So if you start to notice blind spots in your peripheral or side vision or see a halo around lights, visit a doctor immediately.

    That frequent blurred vision you experience could be a sign of glaucoma. Book an appointment with a Medcare Eye Specialist today for a consultation.

  • Can glaucoma go away on its own?

    A: Glaucoma does not go away on its own, and if left untreated, it may lead to further deterioration of vision and even result in complete blindness. However, early detection can prevent that from happening. 

    So if you notice some common glaucoma symptoms such as blurred vision, blind spots or ache in your eyes, you should see a doctor. Treatments such as medication to lower eye pressure or even surgery can help you retain or improve your vision. 

    It is also important to have follow-ups as relapses are common in glaucoma patients.

    Wondering what your symptoms mean? Don't take a risk and visit a Medcare Eye Specialist for a consultation today.

  • How do you check eye pressure?

    A: Tonometry is the test to check if the eye pressure is normal; it should be between 12 and 22 mm Hg. During the process, eye drops are administered to numb the patient's eye. Then with the help of a device, a little pressure is exerted on the eye to measure the inner pressure. 

    Besides tonometry, multiple other tests help to detect glaucoma. Since some people may have normal eye pressure even with glaucoma, a few more tests may be conducted before diagnosing a patient with glaucoma, even if the pressure reading is higher than 20mm Hg. 

    Worried your symptoms could mean glaucoma? Book an appointment with a Medcare Eye Specialist today for a consultation.

  • What is the best treatment for glaucoma?

    A: Glaucoma treatments are meant to prevent further vision damage or complete loss of vision. Usually, a combination of treatments is used for glaucoma, ranging from eye drops that reduce fluid in the eyes to oral medication that helps to bring eye pressure down.

    For some patients, the doctor may even suggest surgical procedures, such as trabeculectomy, trabeculoplasty, etc., depending on the stage of the condition. A doctor may also suggest therapies such as laser therapy depending on the condition of the eye. The key is to follow-up with medication, as patients who are inconsistent with their treatment could end up with worse vision.

    If you are suffering from glaucoma, visit a Medcare Eye Specialist today.

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