“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.