Glaucoma also known as kala motia refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In many cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP).

The eye produces a fluid known as aqueous humor that nourishes the cornea and the lens. The aqueous humor is continually produced by the ciliary body and drains through mesh like channels located in the trabecular spaces of the angle of the eye. In a normal eye the rate of production should be balanced by an equal rate of drainage.

This keeps the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) stable. In some individuals, with advancing age, these channels get blocked; disrupting the outflow of this fluid. Anything that slows or blocks the flow of this fluid out of the eye will cause pressure to build up in the eye. This results in raised pressure within the eye. This raised pressure then starts damaging the optic nerve. Damage caused to the Optic Nerve leads to decrease in the field of vision and sight. Glaucoma causes irreversible damage to ones eye. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years. Glaucoma is not curable but treatable. It can be controlled and further damage to the optic nerve can be slowed down or halted. This control can only be sustained through very disciplined and regular treatment as advised by a glaucoma specialist. It is a lifelong process
  What Are the Types of Glaucoma?

There are four major types of glaucoma:
  • Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma sub divided as primary open angle glaucoma and normal tension glaucoma.
  • Angle-closure (acute) glaucoma
  • Congenital glaucoma
  • Secondary glaucoma


Primary Open Angle or Chronic Glaucoma: This is the most common form of glaucoma. There is gradual painless loss of vision. The affected person might not develop significant symptoms and may be entirely unaware of this disease until the optic nerve has been severely damaged.

Normal Tension Glaucoma: A special type of glaucoma where even at lower intraocular pressure there may be damage to the optic nerve due to factors such as decreased blood flow into the eye.

Closed Angle or Acute Glaucoma: In this type of glaucoma, the intraocular pressure increases very rapidly due to a sudden and severe block of fluid drainage within the eye. Significant symptoms such as pain, haloes, headache and decreased vision may develop.

Congenital glaucoma often runs in families (is hereditary).

  • It is present at birth
  • It results from the abnormal development of the fluid outflow channels in the eye
Secondary glaucoma is caused by:
  • Drugs such as corticosteroids
  • Eye diseases such as uveitis
  • Systemic diseases
  What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

Open-Angle Glaucoma
  • Most people have NO symptoms until they begin to lose vision
  • Gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision (also called tunnel vision)

Angle-Closure Glaucoma
  • Symptoms may come and go at first, or steadily become worse
  • Sudden, severe pain in one eye
  • Decreased or cloudy vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rainbow-like halos around lights
  • Red eye
  • Eye feels swollen

Congenital Glaucoma
  • Symptoms are usually noticed when the child is a few months old
  • Cloudiness of the front of the eye
  • Red eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tearing
  • Squint

If you have any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical care:
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Vision loss
  • Redness in the eye
  • Eye that looks hazy (particularly in infants)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the eye
  • Narrowing of vision (tunnel vision)
  Who Gets Glaucoma?

Glaucoma most often occurs in adults over age 40, but it can also occur in young adults, children, and even infants. In African-Americans, glaucoma occurs more frequently and at an earlier age and with greater loss of vision.

You are at an increased risk of glaucoma if you:

  • Are of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, or Scandinavian descent.
  • Are over age 40.
  • Have a family history of glaucoma.
  • Have poor vision.
  • Have diabetes or hypertension
  • Take systemic corticosteroid medications, such as prednisolone.
  • Have undergone any kind of eye surgery.
  • Have thyroid gland related ailments.
Have over - mature cataracts.

Have had any injury to the eye.

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

The common features to most types of glaucoma are:
  • Increased intraocular pressure: This is measured with Goldmann Applanation Tonometer. This instrument is pressed against the patient's eye to determine the intra-ocular pressure.
  • Cupping or Atrophy of the Optic Nerve This is a measure of loss of the nerve fibre layer of the optic nerve due to damage caused by the raised pressure in the eye. This is assessed by examination of the fundus. Newer imaging modalities like the optical coherence tomography (OCT), GDx, HRT are now available for measuring the status of the nerve fibre layer and documenting the extent and progression of the damage.
  • Visual Field Defects: The visual field is assessed by an instrument called the Perimeter.

    What are the tests for glaucoma?

  • Tonometry: Recording of pressure is done using Goldmann Applanation Tonometer.
  • Gonioscopy: A lens is applied on the eye and angle is examined to see if it is open or closed type of glaucoma.
  • Perimetry: This test is essential not only to assess the extent of the existing damage, but also to document and measure the progression of the disease and the response to treatment.
  • New sophisticated tests: OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography), CCT (pachymetry), GDx, ORA, HRT etc.

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Primary objective of the treatment is to reduce the intraocular pressure. Depending upon the type of glaucoma, this is achieved by medications or by surgery. Usually eye drops that reduce the intraocular pressure are prescribed. Medications may also be given orally or intravenously. Side effects of glaucoma drops may include allergy, redness of the eyes, brief stinging, blurred vision, and irritated eyes. Some glaucoma drugs may affect the heart and lungs. Be sure to tell your doctor about any glaucoma medication you are currently taking or are allergic to. Few laser procedures that can be done include trabeculoplasty, in which a laser is used to pull open the trabecular meshwork drainage area; iridotomy, in which a tiny hole is made in the iris, allowing the fluid to flow more freely; and cyclophotocoagulation, in which a laser beam treats areas of the ciliary body, reducing the production of fluid. A surgery called Trabeculectomy is performed to control glaucoma. In this technique a new drainage channel is created for the fluid to exit, thus lowering the pressure build up. These drops reduce the.

Can glaucoma be prevented?

Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if it is diagnosed and treated early, the disease can be controlled.

What Is the Outlook for People With Glaucoma?

At this time, loss of vision caused by glaucoma is irreversible and cannot be restored. However, successfully lowering eye pressure can prevent further visual loss from glaucoma. Most people with glaucoma do not go blind as long as they follow their treatment plan and have regular eye exams.

Important facts about Glaucoma
  • There is no prevention for the development of glaucoma.
  • Sometimes the symptoms of glaucoma are simply not noticeable.
  • Glaucoma can silently snatch away your vision.
  • Timely detection of glaucoma is a must.
  • Timely treatment of glaucoma may prevent further loss of vision and blindness.

Our centre is equipped with latest machines for diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma:
  • Field Analyser
  • GDX
  • Non Contact Tonometer
  • Gonioscopy Lenses
  • ND-Yag Laser
  • Cirrus OCT
  • Visante OCT
  • ORA

Early diagnosis is the key to prevention of severe vision loss in glaucoma patients and the new tools like OCT, ORA, Pachymetry, GDX at our centre helps us pick the glaucoma patients at very early stage, even when vision loss or other symptoms have not appeared. These examinations assist our extremely trained doctors to help you win this notorious eye disorder also.