Glaucoma is a common group of eye diseases that is characterized by a periodic or constant increase in intraocular pressure with the further development of typical visual defects, as well as a gradual decrease in vision and possible atrophy of the optic nerve.
The symptoms of glaucoma are manifested by a narrowing of the visual fields, pain, pain and a feeling of heaviness in the eyes, blurred vision, deterioration of twilight vision, in severe cases of blindness. Diagnostics of glaucoma includes perimetry, tonometry and tonography, gonioscopy, optical coherence tomography, laser retinotomography.
Treatment of glaucoma requires the use of antiglaucoma drops, the use of laser surgery methods (iridotomy (iridectomy) and trabeculoplasty) or antiglaucomatous operations (trabeculectomy, sclerectomy, iridectomy, iridocycloretraction, etc.).
In medicine, there are 2 main forms of the disease: angle-closure and open-angle. In addition, congenital, juvenile, secondary glaucoma, which may be associated with various anomalies in the development of the eye, is highlighted. In this article we will look at glaucoma: the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of this complex disease.
The main cause of glaucoma is high intraocular pressure. It increases due to the imbalance between the production and outflow of aqueous humor, a special liquid substance necessary for the normal functioning of the eye.
The most common primary glaucoma, the symptoms of which are mild. The factors provoking its development include age, myopia, heredity, diseases of the nervous system, thyroid, diabetes, hypotension.
Secondary glaucoma develops as a result of previous eye disease. Its causes are:
- lens shift;
- inflammatory processes of the eye, such as scleritis, uveitis, keratitis;
- dystrophic eye diseases, for example, progressive atrophy of the iris;
- injuries, eye burns;
- swelling of the eye;
- eye surgery.
In this disease, due to a prolonged increase in intraocular pressure, characteristic visual impairment develops: loss of parts of the visual field (dark spots before the eyes), progressive blindness and atrophy (destruction) of the optic nerve.
Symptoms of glaucoma
In the case of glaucoma, an important symptom is the occurrence of visual field defects. The field of view is the space that we see around us.
At the initial stage of glaucoma, most often, there are subtle drops of small central areas of the visual field, which the patient may not notice at all or notice as dark spots with uneven outlines (if he tries to look with one eye).
With further development of the symptoms of glaucoma, the patient notes a steady narrowing of the peripheral boundaries of the visual field (the patient only sees the space right in front of him, but does not see what is happening on either side of him).
In the late stages of the disease only tubular vision is preserved, in the form of a small picture (as if the patient was looking at the world through a long tube). In the terminal stage of glaucoma, vision disappears completely (complete blindness develops).
Characteristic signs of glaucoma:
- violation of visual function: slight blurred vision, the appearance before the eyes of the film and the so-called running points at the moment of fatigue;
- pain in eyes and temples;
- quick tired eyes when reading, working at the computer.
The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle. Very often it proceeds almost imperceptibly for the patient. The eye looks normal, but the watery moisture, not having a normal outflow, accumulates in the eye, which leads to an increase in intraocular pressure. And this is perhaps the most unpleasant feature of the open-angle form - the disease progresses imperceptibly, but without treatment, glaucoma sooner or later leads to complete loss of vision.
Angle-angle glaucoma occurs in approximately 10% of cases. This form is characterized by acute attacks in which the intraocular pressure increases significantly - it can reach 60-80 mm Hg. pillar. There are severe pains in the eye, often accompanied by headaches, nausea, vomiting, and general weakness. There is a sharp decrease in the sight of a sick eye. Acute angle-closure glaucoma is difficult to diagnose: it is often mistaken for toothache, migraine, influenza, meningitis, stomach disease, because patients complain of nausea, headaches, etc., while the eyes are not mentioned.
To understand how to treat glaucoma, it is necessary to undergo timely diagnosis.
The leading value in it is the definition of indicators of intracranial pressure using tonometry or elastotonomery. The quality of the outflow of intraocular fluid in glaucoma is studied through the use of electronic tonography.
The perimetry method for measuring the limits of vision, as well as gonioscopy, also have high value in the diagnosis of the disease. With the help of the last named method, the structures of the anterior chamber of the eye are investigated. The use of scanning laser ophthalmoscopy allows finding out the qualitative and quantitative disorders in the structure of the optic nerves.
Each of these methods is highly informative, so only one of them can be used in dynamic monitoring of the effectiveness of the treatment of an illness.
Prevention is the early detection of the disease. After 40 years, each person must undergo a routine examination with an ophthalmologist at least 1-2 times a year. This is especially important for patients with hyperopia, heredity in glaucoma and after eye surgery.
Patients with glaucoma must comply with the regime of work and rest, measured physical activity is not contraindicated, bad habits are excluded, one should not drink large amounts of liquid, wear clothing that may impede blood flow in the head area (tight ties, collars).
The first thing to treat glaucoma begin with the use of drugs that reduce intraocular pressure. This, unfortunately, the traditional approach to the treatment of the disease has serious drawbacks. Very often, drugs can not provide a sufficient level of pressure reduction. With prolonged use, the effectiveness of medicines may decrease.
Eye drops must be instilled at strictly specified time intervals, which is not always possible and greatly complicates the patient's life. In addition, drugs that reduce intraocular pressure, worsen the already reduced blood supply to the eye, and often have side effects such as the progression of an existing cataract, constriction of the pupil, and progressive narrowing of the visual fields.
It is completely obvious and proved that with the help of medications, glaucoma is not cured: the struggle is not with the disease, but only with the symptom. At the same time the struggle is very, very expensive. In this regard, the feasibility and even the need for surgical treatment of glaucoma is recognized by the majority of domestic and foreign ophthalmologists.
How to treat glaucoma with a laser?
If medication treatment does not give the desired effect, or if "closed angle glaucoma" is diagnosed, the patient is prescribed a laser treatment.
This was made possible not so long ago, after the creation of modern ophthalmic laser systems with a certain set of parameters that affect the structures of the eyeball. This allowed the development and application of various laser glaucoma treatments.
Laser treatment of glaucoma has a number of advantages: first, low invasiveness of the procedure, secondly, the complete absence of serious complications that may occur in the postoperative period, thirdly, the possibility of treatment in an outpatient setting, which significantly affects the savings, the possibility of , if necessary, repeated laser interventions, with a significant reduction in the hypotensive effect in the postoperative period.
The most popular methods of laser treatment:
- trabeculopuncture (outflow activation);
- descemetonionic puncture;
- transscleral cyclophotocoagulation (contact and contactless).
Surgical treatment consists in creating an alternative system for the outflow of intraocular fluid, after which intraocular pressure is normalized without the use of medication.
Different forms and types of glaucoma suggest a difference in surgical surgery and are solved, each time, individually. The exception is congenital glaucoma in children, this form of the disease is treated only by surgical methods.
In the treatment of this disease, be sure to prescribe drugs in the form of eye drops. They are designed to reduce the level of intraocular pressure. Depending on their impact, they are all divided into three main groups:
- Carboanhydrase inhibitors and blockers. These are drops that reduce the volume of intraocular fluid. Often prescribed trosoopt, timolol, as well as betoptik.
- Eye drops to help normalize the outflow from the tissues of the eyeball. These include drugs - Xalatan, Travatan, as well as pilocarpine.
- Combined, double acting. These drugs include eye drops proxophilin, fotil, etc.
Be careful! Eye drops for the treatment of glaucoma should be used only on the recommendation of the attending physician, with regular monitoring of the level of intraocular pressure.
How to treat glaucoma folk remedies
How to get rid of this insidious disease? If we talk about medical care, then here, either medication, most often drops, or surgery. But we will leave this to the medical court, but we are more interested in the treatment of glaucoma at home, isn’t it?
It should be noted that there are many effective treatment options using folk methods. Of course, they should be taken in combination with the drugs prescribed by the doctor. Here are some popular recipes for glaucoma treatment that you can use at home.
- Prepare 1 liter of fresh woodlice juice, add 100 ml of alcohol and put in the refrigerator for several hours. Take the tincture twice a day before meals, 50 ml.
- A teaspoon of dill seeds pour a glass of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Then remove the decoction from the stove, cover and leave for 50-60 minutes. Take 50 ml three times a day 30 minutes before meals.
- You need to take a tablespoon of honey, half a tablespoon of onion juice, a tablespoon of dandelion juice. Mix well and put in a dark place for three hours. The resulting mixture should be instilled into the eyes. This should be done two or three times a day. The dosage is 2 drops.
- Kalanchoe juice is used to treat many eye diseases. This plant will help us with glaucoma. Squeeze the juice from Kalanchoe, dilute with distilled water in a 1: 1 ratio, add natural honey (at the rate of ¼ of the total amount of the mixture), and boil it in a water bath for 5-7 minutes. Chilled drug is used for instillation of eyes.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of purely washed and chopped grass of duckweed small 1 cup of vodka, leave for 4 days, drain. Take the tincture of 20 drops with 2-3 tablespoons of water 2-3 times a day. You can use fresh duckweed in fresh form with an equal amount of honey and 1 teaspoon 2 times a day.
- Exercises for the eyes. Relax, close your eyes and squeeze your eyes tight 7-10 times. Repeat 3-5 times. 2. Perform circular eye movements. 3. Go to the window, draw a point on the glass. Look at it, then at the remote object outside the window. To look at each object for 10-15 seconds
It should be understood that folk remedies can not be cured by glaucoma. It is necessary to consult a specialist. Glaucoma treatment is complex and should include antihypertensive therapy with pharmacological preparations, surgical methods, as well as correction of hemodynamic and metabolic disturbances with the help of drugs and physiotherapy.