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Watch out for the headache that becomes evident in the morning!

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Watch out for the headache that becomes evident in the morning!

Glaucoma, popularly known as ‘eye tension’, is a disease that ranks second among the most important causes of vision loss and blindness in the world. In our country, approximately 1 in every 13 people is diagnosed with glaucoma, which progresses with progressive damage to the optic nerve. Although glaucoma can be seen at any age, starting from the neonatal period, it usually occurs in people over the age of 40. Especially if there is a family history of glaucoma, the risk increases 7 times. Glaucoma, which results in permanent vision loss and blindness if treatment is delayed, is basically divided into two groups: open-angle and closed-angle. 

Acıbadem International Hospital Ophthalmology Specialist Dr. Nezih Özdemir pointed out that since open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common, does not cause symptoms until it causes significant damage to the visual field, an eye examination should be performed at least once a year for early diagnosis and said, “It is not possible to reverse the damage to the optic nerve caused by glaucoma.

Therefore, the only way to prevent permanent vision loss is to diagnose the disease early. Therefore, for early diagnosis, everyone should undergo an eye examination and eye pressure check once a year, even if they have no complaints. “Those who have a family history of glaucoma should be checked more frequently,” he says. Ophthalmologist Dr. Nezih Özdemir stated that although glaucoma progresses insidiously, it can sometimes cause various complaints and said, “A headache that becomes especially evident in the mornings or seeing halos around the lights at night can be an important symptom of glaucoma. In this case, a doctor should be consulted immediately,” he warns.

When the balance of the fluid in the eye is disrupted…

Glaucoma is a disease that develops due to the imbalance of the aqueous fluid produced inside the eye and leaving the eye through small canals. The aqueous fluid produced in our eyes and nourishing the eye structures is thrown out of the eye in normal situations. For some reasons, obstruction develops in the outflow pathways of the intraocular fluid. Therefore, an imbalance occurs between the liquid produced and the liquid expelled. As the fluid volume inside the eye increases, the pressure inside the eye increases. Increased pressure in the eye can cause irreversible damage to the optic nerves. Dr. Nezih states that glaucoma can be diagnosed with a careful eye examination and says, “The diagnosis can be made by measuring the patient’s intraocular pressure, fundus examination and examination of the optic nerves, visual field test, as well as advanced tests examining the optic nerve and nerve fiber layer.”

Many factors increase the risk!

Although high eye pressure is the most important cause of glaucoma, there are many risk factors that can lead to the disease. Increasing age, hereditary factors, systemic hypertension, vascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, collagen tissue diseases, kidney diseases, hematological disorders and neoplastic diseases can also lead to glaucoma. Glaucoma may also develop in the presence of endocrine disorders and diseases such as pituitary tumor, Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes or thyroid.

Watch out for the headache that becomes evident in the morning!

Since a small number of cells are affected in the initial stage of the disease, the patient does not perceive any negative effects regarding vision. Due to the loss of nerve cells, the image deteriorates over time and loss occurs in the area we see. Ophthalmologist Dr. Nezih Özdemir pointed out that although glaucoma usually progresses insidiously in the early stages, it can sometimes manifest itself with various symptoms and said, “Patients may sometimes complain of problems such as blurred vision, headaches that become more pronounced in the morning, seeing rings around lights at night, and pain around the eyes while watching television. “If the eye pressure is too high, it means that the disease has reached an advanced stage,” he says. 

Progression of vision loss can be prevented!

Glaucoma is noticed by many patients only when significant vision loss occurs. Irreversible vision loss is inevitable in very advanced and untreated glaucoma. Therefore, the treatment aims to prevent the progression of vision loss. Very effective results are obtained from the medical method, which is the first-line treatment. Ophthalmologist Dr. Nezih Özdemir stated that various surgical methods are used in cases where drug treatment is insufficient or ineffective and said, “Which surgical method to use is decided according to the examination findings of the patient. Today, different surgical methods are applied depending on the patient’s needs. Trabeculectomy method, which is performed by opening the canal, is generally preferred. There are also drainage applications, which are the methods of opening the canal that drains the fluid inside the eye or removing the fluid entering the eye from the surface of the eye. Thanks to these methods, progression of vision loss can be prevented. “The most important criterion for the success of the treatment is that the patient complies with the doctor’s recommendations,” he says.

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