Don’t let glaucoma rob you of your vision

Glaucoma is considered a “thief” of vision because it develops silently, without giving warning symptoms.

To raise awareness of this blinding disease, the World Glaucoma Association established World Glaucoma Week, an annual event that this year ran from March 6 to 12. The term “glaucoma” describes a set of diseases that have as a common feature the gradual apoptosis of the nerve fibers of the optic nerve resulting in the limitation of the visual field and loss of vision. Modern studies show that glaucoma is the main cause of irreversible vision loss.

To date, its treatment aims to stabilize the damage, with the aim of preserving the patient’s visual ability for the rest of his life. It is a fact that we cannot regenerate the nerve fibers that have been damaged, so we cannot restore the part of the visual field that has been lost due to glaucoma.

Dr. Dimitrios P. Besinis, Glaucoma Surgeon, scientific manager of the Glaucoma Department of the ophthalmology clinic “Ypapanti”

The only factor we can regulate so that the disease does not develop is the intraocular pressure. In general, it should be low enough that damage to the optic nerve does not progress, and this varies from patient to patient. The treatment of glaucoma is based on three axes. In other words, we can regulate glaucoma medicinally, with the use of lasers and with surgical operations. In some cases, of course, a combination of these options is required.

The treatment of glaucoma with eye drops has been the first choice for many years. The treatment is done by instilling drops on a daily basis, from one to three times a day, depending on the formulation. In this field, newer developments show that it is possible to use slow-release inserts, that is, pharmaceutical devices that will be placed in a specific part of the eye, so that the patient does not need to use eye drops. At the same time, recent data support the use of lasers, specifically SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) as an initial treatment.

But the biggest studies and research done in the field of glaucoma treatment have now focused on the category of operations called MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery). The aim of these operations, performed with or without the use of implants, is to treat glaucoma at earlier stages, in order to gain valuable time. Such operations can also be combined with cataract surgery. In terms of implants, iStent inject W (Glaukos, USA) and XEN (Allergan, USA) are available in Greece, the only one that imitates the classic operation of trabeculectomy. Also available are the ECP endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (BVI, USA) and the Kahook Dual Blade (New World Medical, USA) and TrabEx (MST, USA) angle cutters.

It is very important that today, with all the treatment options available, a patient with glaucoma can preserve their vision, if they are properly monitored and the condition is treated in time.

Source: Lifo.gr