There is a genetic predisposition, so it is interesting that relatives of patients diagnosed with glaucoma undergo a routine checkup from the age of 40. The main diagnostic problem is that this disease does not give any symptoms until it is in an advanced degree, it does not hurt or the eye turns red or any other sign noticeable to the naked eye. In addition, the loss of vision occurs initially through peripheral vision, which makes it go unnoticed. Once detected, treatment can only limit progression but in no case restore lost visual function.
Therefore, early detection is essential to preserve vision. Next, we explain the most common tests for the diagnosis of glaucoma:
- Measurement of intraocular pressure (Tonometry)..It is the most interesting modifiable risk factor, its measurement is carried out using different technologies. Although high blood pressure is a risk factor, it does not necessarily imply that the disease is present. It can be reduced by eye drops, pills, or surgery.
- Corneal thickness measurement (Pachymetry). Low corneal thickness has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing glaucoma.
- Study of peripheral vision (Campimetry). The vision that is lost first, in case of presenting glaucoma, is the peripheral one. Therefore, many times this goes unnoticed and this test is necessary to detect if a defect exists and if it progresses over time.
- Optic Nerve Analysis (Optic Nerve OCT). This technology allows us to scan in great detail the state of the optic nerve, and has the advantage of being able to be compared with reference values and not depend on the collaboration of the patient, therefore it is a more objective test.
- Ganglion Cell Layer Analysis (Ganglion Cell OCT). It is the latest addition to the glaucoma diagnostic battery. It has proven to be one of the first manifestations of glaucomatous damage and reveals how transmission cells are lost in the eye in an accelerated way.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is glaucoma hereditary?
The most common type of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, has an inherited association. If anyone in your immediate family has glaucoma, you are at greater risk than the rest of the population.
Can glaucoma be operated on?
Yes, it is operable. There are laser and operating room procedures. Actually, eye pressure is intervened, which is the main modifiable risk factor to reduce the risk of glaucoma progression. It is about reducing that tension when the treatment by drops is not effective.
What does the glaucoma operation consist of?
There are several methods, such as trabeculectomy and non-penetrating deep sclerectomy. They are techniques aimed at improving the intraocular flow of aqueous humor and avoiding high intraocular tension. This flow is also improved with cataract surgery or with implantable devices at the iridocorneal angle.
Is it reversible?
Glaucoma is treatable, but not reversible. It can be treated to stop the progression of the pathology, but in no case is it possible to recover the percentage of vision lost. That is why it is very important to treat it on time and go to periodic ophthalmological reviews.
Does glaucoma affect myopia?
There is a relationship between high myopia and glaucoma. The frequency of glaucoma in people with myopia above 7 dioptres has been found to be twice that of the normal population. Furthermore, diagnostic tests may be more difficult to interpret, making them important cases to monitor.
What tests detect glaucoma?
The ophthalmological tests that best detect glaucoma are campimetry (study of the peripheral visual field) and OCT (study of the optic nerve and ganglion cell layer). The first analyzes the function of the neurons of the optic nerve and the second, the morphology of the same. Both data combined can be contrasted in our FORUM Glaucoma Workplace system to obtain the most precise conclusions and avoid misinterpretations.
What are the causes of glaucoma?
There are many causes; The main one is genetic, but, in addition, high eye pressure, a thin cornea, smoking and blood pressure problems can affect the development of glaucoma.
Can vision be restored after glaucoma surgery?
Normally,vision lost is irreversible; However, it is possible to act on its advance by reducing eye tension thanks to the intervention.
At what age does glaucoma usually develop?
The most frequent type of glaucoma is chronic open angle glaucoma and is associated with aging; But there are other types of glaucoma that can occur in other age ranges. Even in newborns.
What types of glaucoma are there?
Although there are many types of glaucoma, the most common and common are chronic open angle glaucoma, but there is also closed angle glaucoma, pseudoexfoliative glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, and congenital glaucoma.