Glaucoma: New method to diagnose treacherous eye problems
According to the Society for Ophthalmology, more than two million Germans suffer from the so-called glaucoma, a treacherous eye disease that can lead to blindness in the worst case. Since the eye condition usually causes symptoms late, the diagnosis is often made only when it is already too late. Thanks to new diagnostic technology, it should be possible in the future to recognize glaucoma at an early stage.
Treacherous eye disease can lead to blindness The glaucoma is a group of eye diseases of various causes that, if left untreated, are associated with a loss of nerve fibers. Affected people suffer from the characteristic visual field defects, which can lead to blindness as the disease progresses. Increased intraocular pressure or an impaired blood supply to the optic nerve is usually the cause of the disease. As Armin Scharrer, President of the German Ophthalmic Surgeons (eye surgeons), told the news agency "dpa", many patients only noticed the disease late because initially the healthy eye "covered up the field of vision of the other eye". Although the optic nerve impairment is irreversible, the progression of the green star can be stopped as soon as it is recognized. "Any major damage that has already occurred can no longer be repaired," said Scharrer. However, there were good treatment options in the early stages with eye drops, laser treatments or surgery.
Early detection of treacherous eye disease with a new examination method Many patients only went to the doctor late if there were clear symptoms of eye problems such as a hindrance to the outflow of eye water, which leads to an increase in intraocular pressure due to the new formation of the eye water. In addition, it was often difficult or even impossible to identify the glaucoma at an early stage within the scope of the previous investigation methods.
According to Scharrer, a new device with an infrared laser should enable the early detection of the glaucoma. The so-called papilla OCT device also allows oblique and vertical cuts through the retina and optic nerve head. In this way, three-dimensional images would be created down to deep layers that would otherwise not be available to the doctor. Scharrer advises people from the age of 40 to have regular checkups with an ophthalmologist.
In addition to old age, the risk factors for glaucoma include increased intraocular pressure, abnormal blood pressure (especially low blood pressure or severe fluctuations in blood pressure), genetic predisposition, diabetes mellitus, high myopia or hyperopia, and circulatory disorders . Circulatory disorders of the optic nerve can be noticeable, for example, from migraines or tinnitus. (ag)
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