The optic nerve carries information from the sensitive screen (retina) on the back of the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is a condition where this optic nerve is damaged due to increased pressure in the eye. When damage to the optic nerve occurs, blind areas develop in the field of vision. At first, the patient loses side (or peripheral) vision but if the disease is left untreated, vision loss may continue unabated leading to total blindness over time. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.
The treatment for glaucoma depends on early and accurate diagnosis of the disease and the success of treatment depends on the severity of the disease at presentation. In the initial stages, glaucoma does not produce any symptoms and patients are unaware of the vision loss until the disease is advanced. A regular eye checkup is the best way to detect glaucoma. There are various treatment modalities for glaucoma – medicines, lasers, surgery and the best treatment suited for you will be decided by the ophthalmologist after a detailed evaluation and discussion with you.