HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Early detection of glaucoma key to preserving vision

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 14, 2013
First Published: 23:39 IST(14/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:32 IST(15/3/2013)

Naksh's parents were astonished to see their son's blue eyes. The astonishment soon turned to worry as all the children in the family suffered from partial blindness.


So they decided to consult an ophthalmologist. Little Naksh was diagnosed with glaucoma - an eye condition caused by the build-up of abnormal pressure in the eyes that can lead to blindness.

"The pressure on his eyes was very high and the size of corneas much larger than usual. There was swelling too. But at two days, he was too young to undergo a surgery. We had to wait for him to turn at least a month old," said Dr Devindra Sood, director, glaucoma services, Eye Q Super Speciality Eye Hospitals. "Naksh will require more than one surgery and the treatment will have to continue for life," he added.

A fluid known as 'aqueous' nourishes the front part of the eye. In a normal eye, the fluid gets continually drained that helps maintain optimal pressure inside the eye. With age, disease, trauma or other factors, the channels draining the liquid get blocked which causes increased eye pressure and damages the optic nerve.

The disease is not as common in children as it is in adults, especially after the age of 45. According to estimates, it is the third leading cause of blindness in India. It is called a silently blinding condition as there are no obvious symptoms. By the time symptoms appear, the damage has been done.

"The disease is not curable. The only thing that can help retain whatever percentage of vision is left surgery and medicines," said Dr Ritika Sachdev, Additional Director Medical Services, Centre for Sight.

Preventive check-ups are the only way to detect the disease early. People with no disease history must go in for an eye check-up once in a year after hitting 45. "There is no proven way to prevent glaucoma. Early detection is the key to preserve Vision," said Dr Sachdev.

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