Glaucoma: A Very Serious Occular Disease

Pedro Ferrer Suarez General Practitioner Hialeah, FL

Dr. Pedro Ferrer Suarez is a general practitioner practicing in Hialeah, FL. Dr. Ferrer Suarez provides routine health care services. General practitioners typically have regular, even life-long patients to who they provide health care services to. Dr. Ferrer Suarez provides services including physical exams, immunizations,... more

In one of our previous encounters we talked about the human eye possessing two chambers-the anterior and the posterior.

Today we will increase this knowledge by stating that the anterior chamber is filled with a transparent liquid called aqueous humor, that is responsible for the eye's nutrition.

There should exist an equilibrium between its production and subsequent evacuation maintaining at the same time a normal intraocular pressure (12-19mm hg).

When this equilibrium is destroyed, there is an increase in the intraocular pressure and irreversible damage is produced to the optic nerve with subsequent loss of vision.

From a practical point of view, the most frequent glaucoma are: congenital(seen in the first years of life with tears, photophobia-intolerance to light-and increased corneal eye size which should be treated surgically; secondary (after inflammatory processes, traumas and cataract or retina surgery); Acute closed angle glaucoma(presented with intense pain in the affected eye, sudden loss of vision, corneal opacity and red eye, accompanied with headache and vomiting); and chronic open angle glaucoma.

This latter glaucoma will be our topic for today as it is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness in the world today with two thirds of the patients being 60 to 70 years old.

As we mentioned before, glaucoma is produced due to a deterioration to the equilibrium system in the eye with resulting increased intraocular pressure. This deterioration is produced slowly with the patient presenting practically no signs of the same. By the time the patient goes to his ophthalmologist, it is normally in an advanced stage, with complaints in most cases of bumping into objects as the peripheral vision is the first to be lost with conservation of the central vision. Without an adequate and opportune treatment, this disease continues getting worse, leading to blindness.

The patients at highest risk for glaucoma are: Those with family history of the disease, Myopic patients, diabetic patients, cardiovascular patients, and people with a personal history of ocular trauma or previous ocular surgery.

The diagnosis is made by the following: Increased intraocular pressure above 21 mm hg; Damage to the optic nerve and reduction of the visual field.

The most common treatment of this terrible disease can be with local hypotensive eye-drops; laser or conventional surgery.

My dear readers, do not forget that prevention is better than cure, so please have your regular eye-check because glaucoma can be identified and treated early, thereby retarding the progress to possible blindness.

Dr. Pedro A Ferrer Suarez, MD

Primary Care Physician( General Practitioner) at Centers of Medical Excellence, Hialeah, Florida