Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma or Ablepsia or Amaurosis:-

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, which is a specialized light sensing tissue helping us to see an object.

In glaucoma, eye pressure plays a role in damaging the delicate nerve fibers of the optic nerve. When a significant number of nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots develop in the field of vision. Once nerve damage and visual loss occur, it is permanent.

If the entire nerve is destroyed, it results in blindness. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people.

It is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States or America. Open angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, affects about 3 million Americans.

Homeopathic Treatment:-

In the conventional system there is no cure for glaucoma. There are several types of topical medications that are used for the treatment which temporarily lowers the IOP (intra ocular pressure).The topical eye drops, gels or ointment may cause burning, stinging, or redness when instilled into the eye. Patients experience more side effects with the medications taken by mouth than with topical eye medications.

Laser treatment may be recommended when the oral and topical medicines do not work to lower the IOP. In the laser treatment eye inflammation is a common side effect.

In contrast homeopathic small, magical doses can combat the IOP as well as the further deterioration of the vision. Homeopathy medicines may be used alone or with the eye drops prescribed by the ophthalmologist. In that case, soon the need for the eye drops reduces and the patients are therefore exposed to lesser toxic effects of these medicines.

While prescribing a drug a complete history of the patient is taken which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution and genetic predisposition to the disease. A properly prescribed remedy can lower the progression of disease and in highly susceptible people can prevent the occurrence or prolong the onset of disease.

How homoeopathy helps

  • Medicines improve the circulation and drainage of aqueous thus lowering the IOP.
  • Remedies improve the blood supply to the eye.
  • The treatment prevents the damage to the optic nerve if detected early. In cases where the deterioration has started homoeopathic medicines slows the progression of disease and prevent the further damage to the optic nerve.
  • Medicines can prevent the glaucoma in a genetically predisposed person.
  • Remedies can save the other eye of the patient having glaucoma in one eye if the medicines are started on time.
  • The treatment reduces the eye pains, redness and halos around the light.
  • Medicines also control the associated symptoms of glaucoma like nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

There are 73 homoeopathy medicines which give great relief in glaucoma or ablepsia or amaurosis. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the physician. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus are tailor made unlike allopath in which all patients receive the same surgery or drugs although trade name may be different.

Types

There are four major types of glaucoma:

  • Open angle (chronic)
  • Angle closure (acute)
  • Congenital
  • Secondary

Risk Factors

Certain people are at a heightened risk of developing glaucoma. These include:

  • African Americans over 40 years of age
  • People who have a family history of glaucoma
  • Steroid users
  • People with prior ocular injuries
  • Patients with ocular hypertension
  • People over 60 years of age

There are also several medical conditions that increase a person’s risk of glaucoma, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Leukemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Arthritis

Causes:-

Open angle (chronic) glaucoma is the most common type.

  • The cause is unknown. An increase in eye pressure occurs slowly over time. The pressure pushes on the optic nerve and the retina at the back of the eye.
  • Open angle glaucoma tends to run in families. Your risk is higher if you have a parent or grandparent with open angle glaucoma. People of African descent are at particularly high risk for this disease.

Angle closure (acute) glaucoma occurs when the exit of the aqueous humor fluid is suddenly blocked. This causes a quick, severe, and painful rise in the pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure).

  • Angle closure glaucoma is an emergency. This is very different from open angle glaucoma, which painlessly and slowly damages vision.
  • If you have had acute glaucoma in one eye, you are at risk for an attack in the second eye.

Congenital glaucoma often runs in families (is hereditary).

  • It is present at birth.
  • It results from the abnormal development of the fluid outflow channels in the eye.

Secondary glaucoma is caused by:

  • Drugs such as corticosteroids.
  • Eye diseases such as verities.
  • Systemic diseases.

Symptoms:-

Open angle glaucoma

  • Most people have NO symptoms until they begin to lose vision.
  • Gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision (also called tunnel vision).

Angle closure glaucoma

  • Severe eye pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting (accompanying the severe eye pain).
  • Sudden onset of visual disturbance, often in low light.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Halos around lights.
  • Reddening of the eye.

Congenital glaucoma

  • Symptoms are usually noticed when the child is a few months old.
  • Cloudiness of the front of the eye.
  • Enlargement of one eye or both eyes.
  • Red eye.
  • Sensitivity to light.

Diagnosis:-

A diagnosis of glaucoma no longer simply relies on the presence of pressure within the eye. It requires that there be optic nerve damage or a strong suggestion of damage, which can be clearly seen during a dilated eye examination of the optic nerve.

In general, the hallmark sign of this condition is a loss of peripheral vision. With peripheral vision loss, a person can see in front of him or herself but has lost the vision to the side.

A standard ophthalmic examination may include:

  • Retinal examination
  • Intraocular pressure measurement by tonometry
  • Visual field measurement
  • Visual acuity
  • Refraction
  • Papillary reflex response
  • Slit lamp examination.