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Glaucoma - What Is It?

A condition that damages the optic nerve is called Glaucoma. It is the most common form of optic nerve damage that can lead to vision loss. What is an optic nerve? It is a bundle of nerve fibers that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. High pressure built in the eye can damage the optic nerve and any damage to this nerve gradually diminishes vision or may lead to complete blindness if left untreated. 

Glaucoma has been identified as one of the most common causes of blindness in the world, especially for people above the age of 60 years. However, glaucoma can occur at any age. Glaucoma can affect one eye at a time or both eyes simultaneously. In fact, one can even be born with it. Vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be recovered but can be prevented by regular checkups.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Doctors have not yet wholly identified the main cause of glaucoma. However, here are some of the possible reasons: 

  • Increased intraocular pressure: Increased pressure within the eye is a significant risk factor for glaucoma. This pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve over time.
  • Age: The risk of glaucoma increases with age. Individuals over the age of 60 are at a higher risk.
  • Family history: Having a family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing the condition.
  • Ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Hispanic Americans, are more likely to develop glaucoma.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, can increase the risk of glaucoma.
  • Eye injury or surgery: A history of eye injury or surgery can increase the risk of glaucoma.
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids: The prolonged use of corticosteroids can increase the risk of developing a particular type of glaucoma.

What Are The Types Of Glaucoma?

1. Open-Angle Glaucoma:

Open-angle glaucoma is the most commonly observed glaucoma. It occurs when the trabecular meshwork, a drainage system in the eye, becomes less efficient at draining fluid, leading to increased intraocular pressure and damage to the optic nerve. Regular preventive checkups may enable early diagnosis and management of the condition.

2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma:

Angle-closure glaucoma, or closed-angle glaucoma, results from the bulging of the iris (colored tissue of the eye that contains the pupil in the center). This narrows the drainage angle between the cornea and the iris. This blockage results in a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. 

3. Normal-Tension Glaucoma:

In Normal-tension glaucoma, the fluid pressure in the eye is normal. The exact reason for this type of glaucoma is unknown. The damage to the optic nerve could be due to less blood supply, or a sensitive optic nerve. Less blood supply could be because of atherosclerosis (fatty deposits called plaque in the arteries) or other conditions that hinder normal blood circulation.

4. Congenital Glaucoma:

This is a rare type of glaucoma that is present at birth or develops in the first few years of life. It is caused by abnormal development of the eye's drainage system.

5. Secondary Glaucoma:

Secondary glaucoma is caused due to previous eye injury or eye conditions such as cataracts or eye tumors. Certain medications such as corticosteroids also cause this type of glaucoma.

What Are The Symptoms of Glaucoma?

The type and stage of glaucoma determine its symptoms. In some cases, glaucoma might not exhibit any symptoms until the condition worsens. However, certain early signs may include:

  • Blurred vision: You may experience blurred vision or see halos around lights.
  • Loss of peripheral vision: You may notice a gradual loss of your side or peripheral vision, especially in the early stages of glaucoma.
  • Headaches: Headaches can sometimes be a symptom of glaucoma, especially if they occur after activities that raise intraocular pressure, such as exercise.
  • Eye pain: Severe eye pain is a rare symptom of glaucoma, but it can occur in some cases.
  • Redness in the eye: In some cases, the eye may appear red, especially if the glaucoma is accompanied by inflammation.

NOTE: Glaucoma will lead to blindness if left untreated. Despite treatment, 15% of patients suffer from blindness because of glaucoma in at least one eye within 20 years of commencement of treatment.

How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?

Prevention of glaucoma is the most effective management of this condition. Prevention is possible only with early diagnoses and due treatment which can protect the patient from blindness. 

  • Medical History: Your doctor will ask for your symptoms and personal family history of glaucoma. He/she will also ask if you are on medication for other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
  • Tonometry Test: This test measures the internal pressure in your eye.
  • Pachymetry Test: This test will check if you have a thin cornea than the average thickness. In simple terms, people with thin corneas have higher risks of developing glaucoma. 
  • Perimetry Test: This test measures the strain on your side vision (peripheral) and central vision. It is also known as a visual field test.
  • Monitoring Your Optic Nerve: Your doctor will monitor the changes in your optic nerve over time by taking before and after photographs and conducting a side-by-side evaluation.

What Are The Treatment Options For Glaucoma?

This can be effectively achieved by maintaining intraocular pressure. Depending upon the stage of diagnosis, the doctor may suggest the following course of action:


This is conservative management, where the doctor prescribes either medicated eye drops or tablets to reduce intraocular pressure. The doctor may also use a combination.

Laser Therapy: 

Laser therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that can be used to lower intraocular pressure. The most common type of laser therapy for glaucoma is selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which uses a laser to target and open up the drainage channels in the eye, allowing fluid to flow out more easily.

Looking for Laser treatment for glaucoma in Pune? Talk to a Medfin expert now!


Surgery for glaucoma is recommended when eyedrops or laser surgery has not been effective. Your doctor will decide the type of glaucoma surgery depending on your condition and discuss its risks. Here is a list of different glaucoma procedures. 

1. Trabeculectomy: It is the most common type of glaucoma surgery. It involves removing a part of the eye-drainage tubes to allow fluids to drain easily.

2. Trabecular Stent Bypass: A tiny tube is placed into your eye to increase the drainage of fluid.

3. Viscocanalostomy: part of the white outer covering of the eyeball (the sclera) is removed. This will allow fluid t drain from your eye more easily. 

4. Deep Sclerectomy: The drainage tubes in your eye are widened. This is done by implanting a tiny device inside them.

5. Trabeculotomy: Similar to a trabeculectomy procedure, instead,  this glaucoma surgery uses electric current to remove a small part of the eye-drainage tubes.

Why Choose Medfin?

Get treated by some of the best yet most experienced doctors in Pune! Our team of Opthalmologists are 15+ years certified and trained surgeons who have extensively treated various glaucoma-related problems for more than a decade. Our surgeons suggest the most advanced surgical procedures that are painless, scarless, and ensure a speedy recovery. Think Surgery!! Think Medfin !!

Frequently Asked Questions

Medfin offers the latest surgical procedures to ensure that you recover as fast as possible in the least painful way possible.

Yes, glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness. However, it needs to be treated as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your eyes. 

Glaucoma can occur at any age but is more commonly found among older adults aged 60 and above. This condition is difficult to detect in its early stages as it starts showing symptoms as the condition worsens.

According to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness around the world. Around 12 million people are affected by it and 1.2 million people have turned blind from the disease.

Well, you shouldn’t be so if you are getting it treated early. If glaucoma is left untreated it can cause permanent blindness. Treatment can delay further vision loss, but cannot restore lost vision. It is vital to consult an expert eye doctor immediately if you develop pain in the eye, severe headache, or any kind of vision problem.

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All your questions answered

do children get glaucoma

Any person can get glaucoma despite their age and gender. Children can also get glaucoma. However, glaucoma in children is rare as compared to the adults. People with family history of glaucoma are more likely to develop this condition. If you have glaucoma, then there are higher chances Read more

929 days ago by

Dr. Narpat Solanki

what is the best treatment for glaucoma

The best treatment for glaucoma may vary from person to person. Your doctor may be able to suggest the best treatment after assessing your situation. But, If it’s left untreated, it can cause loss of vision.

Glaucoma is treated by lowering eye pressure, which may include options such as Read more

929 days ago by

Dr. Narpat Solanki

Why choose Medfin

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