News / Health

Early Detection And Treatment A Must For Glaucoma Patients

Early Detection And Treatment A Must For Glaucoma Patients

x
Early Detection And Treatment A Must For Glaucoma Patientsi
|| 0:00:00
X
October 04, 2012 12:46 AM
Glaucoma is not one disease, but a group of diseases that can cause permanent blindness if left untreated. Just as there are different types of glaucoma, there are different treatments. VOA's Carol Pearson spoke with doctors who have been treating glaucoma patients around the world.

Early Detection And Treatment A Must For Glaucoma Patients

Carol Pearson
Glaucoma is not one disease, but a group of diseases that can cause permanent blindness if left untreated.  Just as there are different types of glaucoma, there are different treatments.

Glaucoma robs people of their vision. It happens when fluid builds up in the eye, causing so much pressure that it kills cells in the optic nerve. Mary Hyman was diagnosed with glaucoma more than a decade ago.

"It was something that came on, and I was not aware," said Hyman.

Hyman knew something was wrong when she was playing peek-a-boo with a child.

"And I did one of these, and I said, that left eye is blurry," she said.

There's no cure for glaucoma, but it can be controlled by reducing the pressure in the eye. Dr. Eric Fleischer.  

"There isn't a magic number. That's the tricky part," said Fleischer.

The right pressure is different for every patient. And so is the treatment. The first course of treatment is usually with eye drops.

"We give the patient a drop, we measure their pressure, and we see if it lowers the pressure. If it won't, then the next step is laser surgery," said Fleischer.

The type of treatment depends on the type of glaucoma the patient has.  Dr. Alan Robin says it can also depend on where the patient lives.

"Some drops need to be refrigerated and there's no way in some places like southern India where it's hot, hotter and hottest, or in tropical areas such as equatorial Africa, where you can keep things in refrigeration all the time," said Robin.

Cost can also be a barrier to treatment. Dr. Rengaraj Venkatesh is with the Aravand Eye Hospital in India.

"In India, when someone seeks health care, they don't come alone. They come with at least one family member.  So the cost involved in getting to the hospital is also expensive," said Venkatesh.

But for those who can get treatment, glaucoma patient Mary Hyman says this:

"When you get your physical, get your eyes examined. Even though you might not think you have a problem. Get your eyes examined," she said.

Hyman is grateful that she is being treated for her glaucoma. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says glaucoma is an emerging priority because the number of cases is expected to increase as more people the world over live longer.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid