Glaucoma: The 3 C’s One Should Know

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Glaucoma

Glaucoma an eye disease damaging the optic nerve thus beginning with a subtle loss of side vision. If it is not treated at an initial stage it can progress to loss of central vision and blindness. Associated with elevated pressure in the eye and this elevation in eye pressure leads to damage of the eye optic nerve. In other cases, it is also caused by poor regulation of blood flow to the optic nerve. Here are the 3 Cs of Glaucoma one should know – Care, Cure, and Caution.

A. Care in Glaucoma

  • Keep regular track of glaucoma medications and make healthy choices.
  • Be careful about using any medication that contains cortisone.
  • Use the drops exactly as prescribed otherwise, your optic nerve damage could worsen.
  • Note any changes in your eye especially eye irritation, watering, blurring or scratchiness, temporarily cloudy vision, or any type of liquid oozing from the eye and consult your doctor immediately.
  • Keep a reminder on when to take your medications.
  • Get an extra supply of medication in case you misplace a bottle of eye drops or pills.
  • Keep records of each medication you are taking.
  • Go for a checkup before you go on a long trip or start any demanding project.
  • Regular eye exercises may reduce eye pressure in open-angle glaucoma.
  • Try to keep your eyes clean by washing your eyes and keep free of irritants.
  • Always use non-allergenic brands for eye cosmetics and replace them after their expiry period.
  • Never rub your eyes with your hands, use a clean cotton cloth instead.
  • Wear goggles when swimming, and protective glasses when playing contact sports.
  • Use appropriate eyewear gear to keep your eyes safe from ultraviolet rays.
  • Eat healthy raw vegetables in ample quantity. Several vitamins and nutrients are important to keep your eyes healthy which includes zinc, copper, selenium, and antioxidant vitamins C, E, and A.
  • Increase your fluid intake especially water, and lower your salt intake. This will help prevent fluid retention.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine as it may increase your eye pressure.
  • Spend less time in front of the mobile screen or laptop screens.
  • Reduce the day-to-day stress in your life.

B. Cure for Glaucoma

 Glaucoma can be treated by lowering your eye pressure and mainly the options may include prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of any of these.

  • Eyedrops

Eyedrops can help decrease eye pressure by improving fluid drains. Prescription eyedrop medications include:

  • Prostaglandins:

    These increase the outflow of the fluid in your eye thereby reducing your eye pressure.

  • Beta-blockers:

Lessens the production of fluid in your eye, thus lowering the pressure in your eye.

  • Alpha-adrenergic agonists:

    This prescription has the tendency to lessen the production of aqueous humour and increase the outflow of the fluid in your eye.

  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors:

    These eye drops reduce the production of fluid in your eye.

  • Rho-kinase inhibitor:

    It lowers eye pressure by suppressing the rho kinase enzymes responsible for the fluid increase.

  • Miotic or cholinergic agents:

    Subsequently, increase the outflow of fluid from your eye.

Most of the eyedrop medicines get absorbed into the bloodstream, thus causing some side effects unrelated to your eyes.

  • Oral medications

In some rare cases if eyedrops alone don’t bring your eye pressure down then doctors are forced to prescribe an oral medication, usually a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor which has some harmful side effects on a body.

  • Surgery and other therapies

Glaucoma surgery is also another option that is treated with laser therapy and various surgical procedures. In laser therapy, an eye surgeon uses a small laser beam to open clogged channels in the trabecular meshwork. In Filtering surgery with a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy an opening in the white of the eye is created which then removes part of the trabecular meshwork.

C. Caution to take to prevent Glaucoma

  1. Opt for earlier diagnosis, effective treatment, and compliance with treatment.
  2. Avoid trauma to the eye and prompt treatment of eye inflammation glaucoma can be avoided.
  3. Appropriate use of laser iridotomy in eyes the risk for the development of glaucoma can be prevented.
  4. Periodic eye examination every three to five years.
  5. Scheduled visits to the eye doctor

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