GLAUCOMA TREATMENT IN MUMBAI
Glaucoma treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure in the eye. Regular use of prescription eye drops is the most common and often the first line of treatment. Some cases may require systemic medications, laser treatment, or other surgery. While there is not yet a cure for glaucoma, early diagnosis and continuing treatment can preserve eyesight.
Options available for the treatment of Glaucoma in Mumbai.
Several medications in the form of eye drops are currently available to treat glaucoma. These are tailored according to each patient’s needs and are monitored over time. Typically medications are intended to reduce elevated intraocular pressure and prevent damage to the optic nerve. A single medication or a combination of medications may be prescribed. The type of medication may change if it is not reducing pressure enough or if the patient is experiencing side effects.
Glaucoma surgeries have evolved considerably over the past few years. These include filtering surgeries like Trabeculectomy, placement of small shunts, and Glaucoma drainage devices. All these procedures are aimed at controlling the IOP by providing alternate drainage channels for the intraocular fluid. Your glaucoma specialist may advise surgery if your eye pressure is not well controlled with medications alone, if they are causing disabling side effects or if the glaucoma is advanced.
Conventional surgery: also known as Trabeculectomy still is the ‘gold standard’ and is the most effective surgical procedure to control IOP. The procedure involves the creation of an alternate drainage channel by means of a flap, to allow the fluid in the eye to drain properly.
Shunts: There are multiple artificial devices which are inserted in the eye by a glaucoma specialist in minimally invasive fashion.
Drainage implants: Drainage valve implant surgery may be an option for adults with uncontrolled glaucoma or secondary glaucoma or for children with glaucoma. A small silicone tube is inserted in the eye to help drain fluid.
Two types of laser treatments are performed, depending on the type of glaucoma.
Laser Iridotomy – This procedure is done in cases of closed-angle glaucoma, where the space in the angle of the eye is narrow and obstructs the flow of fluid. The laser beams make small openings in the iris tissue and create an alternate pathway for the flow of fluid. This is a very important procedure in high-risk cases to prevent attacks of acute angle-closure glaucoma, which can be vision-threatening. The procedure is performed in the OPD setting and is painless. At REH, laser iridotomy is performed by an experienced glaucoma specialist in Mumbai, using the Carl Zeiss Nd: YAG Visuals Laser system.
Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT/ ALT) – Laser trabeculoplasty helps fluid drain out of the eye in cases of open-angle glaucoma. A high-energy laser beam stimulates the structure that drains fluid from the eye (the trabecular meshwork) so that fluid drains more efficiently.
GOLDEN RULES TO FOLLOW
Once diagnosed as a glaucoma patient, you require constant and lifelong care. If detected early, it can be controlled immediately and thereby prevent any vision loss. Although glaucoma can be controlled, any damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed. Glaucoma can be successfully controlled with eye drops or surgical operations. Often, people tend to think that once their IOP has been brought down to safe levels they have been cured of glaucoma. Even when medication has successfully controlled glaucoma it is important to constantly monitor the condition by checking IOP levels regularly & use medications regularly. Periodic eye examinations by a glaucoma specialist in Mumbai are vital in controlling glaucoma.
- Use your medications regularly: It will be especially easy to forget to use your medication when your pressures are under but to prevent an intermittent rise in eye pressure please put drops regularly. Get an extra supply of medication in case you misplace a bottle of eye drops or pills.
- Know what your medications are & how best to use them: Know the name & dosage of each medication you are using.
- Schedule your regular check-ups on time:time: It is easy to put off or forget your regular check-ups when your IOP is under control or when you are busy with work or personal activities. Glaucoma can worsen without you being aware of it and your treatment may need to be changed over time. Glaucoma has to be monitored regularly and treatment may need to be altered based on the condition of your eye. Please go for regular IOP check-ups and perimetry test as advised by your glaucoma specialist.
- Maintain Good Health: Maintaining good general health is important and also contributes to taking care of your eyes. Pay attention to proper diet and nutrition, exercise, and avoid nicotine and excess caffeine. Try to reduce your day to day stress by incorporating a healthy lifestyle.
- Schedule medications around daily routine like on waking up or breakfast & bedtime.
- Remember that “Four times a day” means four times in 24 hours that is at 7 am, At noon, 6 pm & at bedtime. “Twice a day” means every 12 hours that is from 7 am to 7 pm or 10 am to 10 pm.
- Keep your medications in a special visible place at home (for instance on a kitchen table or on a bathroom shelf) carry them with you when you are away from home. If you are scheduled for medication during office hours, you can keep an extra supply in your office or carry it in your bag, so you don’t risk forgetting to take your medication.
- Wash your hands before and after putting eye drops. Avoid touching the nozzle to your eye.
- While putting the eye drops, press over the inner corner of the eye for 2 minutes after instilling the drop. This will help reduce certain systemic side effects of the drug.
- Do talk to us and try and understand how your medication works. It will make it easier for you to remember your routine.
- If the medications you are on, is/are inconvenient, uncomfortable to use or too expensive, talk to us about it and we can try alternatives.
LIVING WITH GLAUCOMA
There are few adjustments a person with glaucoma has to do, like getting used to frequent eye checking & using medications regularly. But, the diagnosis of glaucoma shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your life. New medications to help fight glaucoma are always being developed. We understand that glaucoma medications can add a considerable financial strain to a patient and his/her family. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the medications depending on your policy. Certain Drug Companies have Patient assistance programs which also help to reduce the financial burden of prescribed glaucoma medicines. Talk to our glaucoma specialist for more information.