Glaucoma – An Overview
Glaucoma is an ophthalmic condition that causes damage to the optic nerve of the eye and worsens over time. It is also caused due to excessive pressure building up inside the eye.
This is mostly a genetic disorder and is seen in the generation of the same family and usually shows up later in life.
The increasing pressure, also known as ‘intra-ocular pressure’ (IOP) can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve from the high pressure in the eye, which can result in gradual loss of vision. If left untreated for long, glaucoma can also result in complete vision loss within a few years.
Causes of Glaucoma
Glaucoma mostly occurs due to rising pressure in the eye ball. This can be a result of the excessive accumulation of the aqueous humor (eye fluid) due to its inability to circulate normally.
In normal conditions, the aqueous humor tends to flow out from the eye through a channel of mesh-like structure. In case this channel gets blocked due to any reason the fluid is not able to flow out of the eye and starts collecting in the eye ball, resulting in an increasing pressure in the eye (IOP).
In some cases, glaucoma is also known to be caused due to:
- Blunt trauma to the eye
- Chemical injury to the eye
- Severe eye infection
- Blockage of ocular (eye) blood vessels
- Inflammatory eye conditions
- Botched eye surgery
Need for Glaucoma Surgery
Basically, the type of glaucoma treatment will depend mainly on the type of glaucoma.
Non-surgical treatment options for glaucoma include:
- Glaucoma eye drops
- Glaucoma oral medications
In most cases, the glaucoma can be managed with one or more medications, but in some severe cases surgery might be the only option for restoring vision in the eye by relieving the IOP and improving the drainage of the aqueous humor.
These are the most commonly performed glaucoma surgical treatments:
Select Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) –
This is a form of non-invasive treatment method for glaucoma that uses a high-intensity focused laser beam create very small holes in the filtering angle of the eye to enable the increase of the out-flow of the internal eye fluid, at the meeting point of the iris and the cornea. This method is very precise and does not affect the surrounding tissue.
Trabeculectomy, Trabeculotomy and Goniotomy –
A Trabeculectomy procedure involves removing part of the eye’s drainage system using an incision in the eye in order to improve the normal out-flow of the aqueous humor (eye fluid) from the eye. This is one of the most commonly-performed surgical glaucoma treatments when other non-surgical alternative treatments are unsuccessful in decreasing the rising intra-ocular pressure (IOP).
A Trabeculotomy procedure is similar to a Trabeculectomy procedure with the only difference being that this procedure does not require removal of the tissues.
A Goniotomy procedure is an ideal procedure for treating pediatric glaucoma (glaucoma affecting infants and small children). It uses a special lens to view the structure inside the eye which helps the ophthalmologist to create holes in the trabecular mesh-channel (eye fluid drainage system) and allow normal draining of the eye fluid (aqueous humor).
This surgery involves using a laser to create a hole in the iris which helps to increase the drainage blocked by a part of the iris.
This surgery involves removing a small piece of the iris so as to allow better outflow of the eye fluid, especially in case of ‘narrow-angle glaucoma’.
Shunts and Implants –
Glaucoma shunts and stents are small medical devices made from silicone, polypropylene and other bio-compatible materials. These are surgically inserted into the eye using a Trabeculectomy surgery and create an additional outflow passage in the eye for the eye fluid to bypass a blocked or damaged eye fluid drainage channel.
Non-invasive Glaucoma treatment –
There are a range of innovative and efficient glaucoma surgery techniques that help to improve the drainage system for the eye fluid in the glaucoma-affected eye through minimal penetration. These advanced glaucoma surgery techniques require only superficial incisions and do not need to penetrate the eye as deeply as required in traditional glaucoma surgeries such as a Trabeculectomy.
These are a few commonly performed non-invasive glaucoma surgical treatment methods:
- Deep Sclerectomy – This requires a minimally invasive incision in the sclera (white of the eye), in order to remove a portion of it to improve the outflow of the aqueous humor (eye fluid) and relieve the IOP.
- Viscocanalostomy – This is a more advanced glaucoma treatment surgery and involves creating an opening in the eye to insert a very soft and gel-like substance (viscoelastic) that helps provide adequate space for drainage and helps relieve excessive IOP.
Connect with Travcure for Modern and Affordable Glaucoma Surgery in India
India is home to a large network of comprehensive and tertiary care multi-specialty healthcare facilities spread across all its major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, etc. These hospitals and clinics maintain a world-class standard for providing the best and most efficient healthcare to the patients using the most advanced and latest medical and surgical technology available. These healthcare facilities are managed by teams of the most experienced and intensively-trained medical professionals and specialists who strive to achieve highest quality and success in treatment of each patient. Travcure Medical Tourism Company, being India’s largest medical tour service providers is well-connected to this large healthcare network in order to provide each and every patient with the best, most efficient and cost-effective glaucoma surgery in India.