Glaucoma, or colloquially known as eye pressure, is one of the eye diseases that progress insidiously. Eye Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç warned that glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss if left untreated, may increase by 7 times if it occurs in a close family member.
Glaucoma, which can cause irreversible vision loss, affects 6 million people worldwide, of whom about 70 million have complete vision loss. In open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma, the presence of first-degree relatives such as mother, father and siblings with glaucoma increases the risk of the disease in family members 7 times. Pointing out that glaucoma is generally known as a disease of advanced age, it can actually occur in young people, even in newborn babies and children, Ophthalmology Specialist Prof. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç said that congenital glaucoma, which is seen especially in the first 3 years after birth, is more common in babies born from consanguineous marriages.
In addition to genetic factors, other factors such as diabetes, blood pressure, migraine, hypothyroidism, eye injuries and anemia (anemia) are among the risk factors that increase the possibility of glaucoma. Yeditepe University Hospitals Eye Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç said, "In addition, myopia or hypermetropia of the eye are other factors that increase the risk of developing glaucoma."
ATTENTION TO THESE COMPLAINTS!
Stating that the symptoms of glaucoma may vary according to the type of the disease and the age of onset, Prof. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç explained the following about the patients' complaints: “Complaints are very few in open angle glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma. The patient may have complaints such as headache, blurred vision, near vision problems, dark adaptation disorders. However, the patient's vision is intact and may remain normal until the last stages of glaucoma. This situation creates difficulties in the early diagnosis of glaucoma. "
THOSE WHO HAVE GLOCOMA STORY IN THEIR FAMILY SHOULD CHECK OUT EVERY YEAR
Saying that in addition to the routine eye examination for the diagnosis of glaucoma, the intraocular pressure and corneal thickness of the person are measured. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç continued his words as follows: “The visual field, optic nerve and retinal vessels are examined. In addition, different examinations are used to determine the type of glaucoma. However, it is beneficial for those with glaucoma in their family to have regular check-ups every year. It should not be forgotten that glaucoma is a disease that can be treated and prevented from causing blindness when diagnosed early. Because glaucoma is an asymptomatic disease, routine screening is essential for early diagnosis. Patients using glasses are lucky in this sense, as they are somehow routinely followed. However, it is necessary to spread the glaucoma scans to the whole society, including those with glaucoma and those over 40, in the first ring.
TREATMENT CONTINUES LIFETIME
Underlining that since glaucoma is a chronic disease, its treatment should continue throughout life. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç said, “The most important criterion for the success of the treatment is to recognize the disease of the individual and to comply with the doctor's recommendations during the treatment process. "The main purpose of treatment is to prevent further deterioration of vision rather than recovery of healthy state," he said. He gave the following information about the methods used in the treatment of glaucoma: “Drug therapy comes first among the methods used in the treatment. First of all, the eye pressure of the patient is reduced by either reducing the production of the fluid in the eye or increasing its output. There are drugs used for these two methods. Despite the medication, if the eye pressure does not decrease and the visual field is narrowed; The treatment method to be applied is mostly laser and surgery. "
WHO IS LASER THERAPY SUITABLE FOR?
Explaining that laser beams are used for different purposes in the treatment of eye pressure, depending on the patient's condition, Prof. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç gave the following information about the areas where laser therapy is used:
“In primary closed-angle glaucoma patients or people with acute glaucoma attack, a hole is made in the iris surface to facilitate the passage of intraocular fluid from the place where it was produced to the outlet channels. Secondly, in cases of chronic open angle glaucoma, laser can be applied to the outflow channels to facilitate the outflow of the fluid produced in the eye. In addition, laser therapy is also used in advanced glaucoma patients who have undergone more than one eye surgery. Here, the cells that produce liquid themselves are destroyed by laser. Thus, it may be possible to reduce intraocular pressure without the need for an advanced surgical method. "
SURGICAL TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES DIFFERENT BY PATIENT
Surgery is one of the methods used in glaucoma treatment. Summarizing the purpose of surgical treatment as ensuring that the fluid produced in the eye leaves the eye by creating a fistula, Prof. Dr. Belkıs Ilgaz Yalvaç gave the following information about surgical treatment; “This procedure is called fistulizing surgery. With this surgery, a hole is made in the white part of the eye. With this hole, which is too small to be seen from the outside, a fistula is formed and the excess fluid in the eye is thrown out. In cases where conventional fistulizing surgeries fail, "Tube Implants" are also used to provide this opening continuously. As a result of important innovations in the shape and functions of tube implants in glaucoma, much smaller implants can be placed in the eye and permanent intraocular pressure control can be achieved. In congenital glaucoma, specific operations are performed primarily, taking into account the condition and age of the baby's eye, without applying medical and laser treatment. "