diseases

GASRTO ESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE


Introduction:
Glaucoma is a syndrome characterized by increased intraocular pressure. The common feature of glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve associated with abnormally high pressure inside the eyeball. It develops gradually and if left untreated may lead to blindness in both the eyes. If detected early and treated it has a good prognosis.


Cause:
It is due to increased internal pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure. It is due to increased volume of intraocular fluid. Intraocular fluid comprises of:
1) Aqueous humour
2) Vitrous humuor
3) Tissue fluids which bathe the ocular tissues

These fluids help to maintain the intraocular pressure. Aqueous humor is continuously produced and circulated through the anterior chamber before draining out of the eye. This continuous flow of fluid nourishes the lens and the cornea and also removes unwanted debris. A healthy eye produces aqueous humor at the same rate that it drains fluid, thus maintaining a normal pressure.

Aqueous humor exits your eye through a drainage system located at the angle formed where the iris and the cornea meet. Here it passes through a spongy tissue called the trabecular meshwork and drains into a channel called Schlemm's canal. The fluid then merges into your bloodstream.

When the drainage system doesn't function properly, for example, if the trabecular meshwork becomes clogged, the aqueous humor cannot filter out of the eye at its normal rate, and pressure builds within your eye.

. Diabetics are more prone to develop glaucoma
. Hypertension is one of the causes for developing glaucoma
. African Americans over the age of 40
. People with family history of glaucoma are at risk of developing the disease
. Asians are prone to develop angle-closure glaucoma

Types of glaucoma:
. Congenital glaucoma
. Acquired glaucoma
a) Primary glaucoma
b) Secondary glaucoma
c) Epidemic dropsy glaucoma

Signs and Symptoms:
Signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type of glaucoma the patient has
. Primary open-angle glaucoma progresses with few or no symptoms until the condition reaches an advanced stage. As increased eye pressure continues to damage the optic nerve and more and more of peripheral vision is lost

If glaucoma is left untreated, the person may lose all sight. Open-angle glaucoma usually affects both eyes, although at first there is loss of vision in just one eye.
. Acute angle-closure glaucoma develops suddenly in response to a rapid rise in eye pressure. It requires immediate medical care as the patient may loose his vision.

Signs and symptoms are:
a) Halos around lights
b) Reddening of the eye
c) Severe eye pain
d) Nausea and vomiting
e) In case of secondary glaucoma, the signs and symptoms depend upon the cause of glaucoma
Complications:
. Glaucoma if left untreated can lead to decreased ability to see or complete loss of vision. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in United States.

How often should one get eyes examined?
Regular eye exams help to detect glaucoma early enough for successful treatment.

It's best to have routine eye checkups every two to four years after age 40 and every one to two years after age 65. Because African-Americans have a much higher risk of glaucoma, screening should begin every three to five years from age 20 to 29 and every two to four years after age 30.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis is made with the help of different tests. Tests include:
. Tonometry: It is a simple, painless procedure to measure intraocular pressure. It is usually the initial screening test for glaucoma
Average normal eye pressures range from 10 to 21 or 22 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), though most pressures are within 14 to 16 mm Hg. Doctors consider anyone with eye pressure greater than 22 mm Hg is at risk of developing glaucoma and in needs careful monitoring for early signs of glaucoma
. Visual field test: Perimetry test is done to know whether visual field is affected. This test measures the dimmest light that can be seen at each spot tested. The patient is asked to respond at the appearance of light by pressing the button each time a flash of light is perceived
. Test to know the optic nerve damage: To check the fibers in your optic nerve, doctor uses an instrument called an ophthalmoscope, which enables the doctor to look directly through the pupil to the back of your eye
Your doctor may also use laser light and computers to create a three-dimensional image of your optic nerve. This reveals slight changes that may indicate the beginnings of glaucoma
. Pachymetry: An ultrasonic-wave instrument is used to gauge the thickness of each cornea. The thickness of corneas is an important factor for accurately diagnosing glaucoma
. Visual acuity test is carried out to know how well the person can see at different distances. The patient is asked to read standardized charts with each eye while sitting 20 feet away from the eye chart

Treatment: Medical treatment should be started immediately as soon as glaucoma is diagnosed or even in preglaucomatous condition. It is necessary to reduce the intraocular pressure by improving aqueous outflow. If the patient has elevated intraocular pressure, an excavated optic disk and loss of visual field, he should be treated for glaucoma.

If there is only slightly elevated eye pressure, an undamaged optic nerve and no visual field loss, he may not need treatment, but advised more frequent examinations to detect any future changes.

If there are signs of optic nerve damage and visual field loss, even if eye pressure is in the normal range, the patient may need treatment to lower eye pressure further, which slows the progress of glaucoma.

Treating acute angle-closure glaucoma
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency. Doctors may administer several medications to reduce eye pressure as quickly as possible. A laser procedure called iridotomy is performed.

Homeopathic Management: To treat glaucoma it is necessary to reduce the raised intraocular pressure and bring it within normal limits. Also it is necessary to reduce high blood pressure and take care of diabetes if the person is diabetic and hypertensive. Keeping eye pressure under control can prevent further damage to the optic nerve and you can stop the disease from progressing.

There are homeopathic medicines which can reduce the raised intraocular pressure, maintain normal blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis by lowering bad cholesterol and improve retinal circulation.

Person is treated as a whole and not a particular part of the body that is affected, hence all the factors are considered while treating glaucoma, his physical and mental complaints etc. Homeopathy is a scientific method of therapy based on the principle of stimulating the body's own healing processes in order to accomplish cure. Along with homeopathic medicines it is necessary that the patient performs moderate exercise which improves cardiovascular system; helps keep off extra pounds and lowers cholesterol. Exercise also helps to reduces stress. These factors are important in helping the body fight disease.

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