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How Can Glaucoma Affect The Optic Nerve Inside The Eyes?

How Can Glaucoma Affect The Optic Nerve Inside The Eyes?
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According to reports, there are 11.9 million cases of glaucoma in India.

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Published : February 3, 2023 2:50 PM IST

Glaucoma is an acquired loss of retinal ganglion cells and axons within the optic nerves that leads to optic neuropathy and results in a very characteristic appearance of the optic nerve head, also known as optical disc cupping. This increase in cupping corresponds to a loss of nerve function and progressive vision. Glaucoma is commonly associated with elevated IOP. Patterns of visual loss are very characteristic. The peripheral field of vision is affected first, often unnoticed, followed by significant loss of sight. Dr Sangeetha Rao, Consultant- Ophthalmology, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur, explains two types of Glaucoma:

  • Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Angle Closure Glaucoma (ACG). Then, it usually gets diagnosed during a routine examination. On the other hand, ACG is known as the sudden rise in Glaucoma. Intraocular pressure leads to intense eye pain, redness, blurred vision, and headaches, sometimes along with vomiting.
  • Other types of Glaucoma include Secondary Glaucoma, which develops due to trauma or other eye diseases like uveitis and increases intraocular pressure. The other one is normal tension Glaucoma, which is Glaucomatous optic neuropathy with normal eye pressure usually detected on a routine retinal examination.

According To Reports

India is expected to overtake the United States as the second-largest country with glaucoma due to the country's ageing population. According to reports, there are 11.9 million cases of glaucoma in India. However, glaucoma prevalence varies across India, with rates ranging from 2.3 to 4.7% across various demographics and subgroups. Regarding subtype, Primary open-angle (POAG) and Angle closed glaucoma (ACG) are equally prevalent in the Indian population.

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Once Diagnosed With Glaucoma

The patient should use the prescribed eye drops regularly and visit the ophthalmologist regularly, as well as when called for a review. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled every 5 to 10 years if you are under 40 and every 1 to 2 years if you are over 65. The key to treatment is patient education and compliance.