Glaucoma, known as ‘Eye Tension’ among the people, which is a disease of the optic nerve, develops with the decrease of the cells that make up the optic nerve. Eye Health and Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Uğur Emrah Altıparmak at Acıbadem Ankara Hospital informs on the causes and treatment method of glaucoma, which is one of the most important causes of blindness due to its permanent damage.
“Glaucoma is an insidious disease that is more common in middle age and above Prof. Dr. Uğur Emrah Altıparmak continues his words as follows, “Glaucoma can also be seen very rarely in children or infants. In a report published by the World Health Organization, it was reported that 76 million people between the ages of 40-80 had glaucoma in the world in 2020. This figure is expected to rise to 95 million by 2030. In glaucoma, permanent damage occurs in the optic nerve, which provides the connection between the eye and the brain.”
Recording that glaucoma patients lose their vision in the lateral areas first, and their vision towards the center as the disease progresses, Emrah Altıparmak said, “In the last stage, central vision is also lost and blindness occurs. Patients may not realize the presence of the disease at first because it reduces the edge vision first. Therefore, regular check-ups are of great importance. Especially people with a family history of glaucoma are at greater risk of developing glaucoma. Regular eye exams are even more important in these people. It is recommended that these people have eye check-ups every year from the age of 40, those who do not have glaucoma in their family members, every two years between the ages of 40-50, and every year from the age of 50.”
Early treatment has great importance
Emrah Altıparmak stated that the aim in the treatment of glaucoma is to stop the worsening, and said that it is not possible to restore the lost vision. Noting that the early diagnosis of the disease is very important, Altıparmak continued, “The only treatment that successfully stops the progression of the disease is lowering the intraocular pressure. This is usually achieved with eye drops, and in some cases where the drops are insufficient, glaucoma surgeries come into play. A large number of drops can be used in the treatment of glaucoma. Drops are generally preferred according to the scarcity of side effects, suitability for the patient and compliance with the patient. Sometimes 2, sometimes 3 eye drops are used together when results cannot be obtained with a single drop. It is very, very important for patients to use their drops regularly. Interrupting or irregular use of drugs will increase the damage to the optic nerve. It should not be forgotten that glaucoma treatment is a lifelong treatment.”