The incidence of glaucoma has now increased significantly, and the age of patients has become younger. If in the middle of the twentieth century the disease affected people over fifty, now young people over thirty are suffering.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye and its surrounding tissues resulting from increased intraocular pressure. The severity of clinical manifestations will directly depend on the degree of pressure increase.
How does the disease develop?
The iris divides the eyeball into two unequal parts: the posterior and anterior chambers. The rear camera is much larger than the front one. The iris has a small opening for the exchange of fluid between the chambers, and under some circumstances that have not yet been determined, this opening closes. As a result, the pressure in the rear chamber rises.
Intraocular fluid exerts excessive pressure on the inner wall of the eye, thereby squeezing the optic nerve. The patient begins to complain. At first they are not pronounced. Basically, he complains of iridescent stains before the eyes, which do not interfere with vision. Later, there is a limited visual field. Knowing a Russian person, it is safe to say that he will start "sounding" the alarm only in a neglected case, when the field of vision will be significantly limited. Only in this case it can be seen at an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
When the patient realizes that he is sick, it is already too late (typical for a Russian person), and the changes in the optic nerve become irreversible. The doctor can no longer cure the disease, but only tries to keep it in check, preventing the progression of the process. Therefore, it is very important to identify the disease at an early stage.
The patient can independently determine how advanced the disease is by testing his own visual fields. This requires:
- Close the right eye.
- With the left eye, focus on the tip of the nose.
- Take the left hand behind the ear on the same side.
- Gradually bring the hand closer to the nose until it is fixed with the left eye.
- The same must be repeated on the other side.
Normally, the angle between the tip of the nose and the hand is ninety degrees. The angle can be reduced by a maximum of five degrees. If it is even less, you should start worrying and consult an ophthalmologist.
The amount of intraocular pressure can be determined at home. Glaucoma patients usually use this method to be aware of their condition. The instrument is called a tonometer pen. The measurement procedure takes place through the upper eyelid and does not require the participation of someone else. It is easy to use, but not everyone will be able to purchase it. The price on the market at the moment is more than twenty thousand rubles. Therefore, people who are worried about their health are more likely to go to an optometrist.
Even in the last century, special weights were used to measure intraocular pressure. First, an anesthetic (novocaine or lidocaine) was dropped into the eyes to reduce the sensitivity of the cornea. Then weights with increasing mass were installed on its surface in order to determine the value of intraocular pressure by the magnitude of the corneal deflection. The measurement was inaccurate, but could indicate an abnormality. At the present stage, an apparatus is already used for this purpose. The patient looks into the eyepieces, from where a stream of air is supplied to the cornea. The principle remains the same. Only the amount of corneal deflection is calculated by the computer, which issues a conclusion.
Previously, glaucoma could only be treated conservatively. The patient was prescribed drugs that reduced the production of fluid in the eyeball. If the treatment did not help, they resorted to surgery. The surgery lasted twenty minutes. During this time, the ophthalmologist made a hole in the iris and the circulation of intraocular fluid between the chambers of the eye was resumed.No surgery is needed now. This procedure can be carried out by a laser beam on an outpatient basis and in just one minute.