Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Currently, more than 50% of people with glaucoma are not diagnosed.
Santo Domingo, July 2018. It is estimated that more than 60 million people around the world have glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve leading to loss of vision or blindness. Glaucoma occurs when the eye’s drainage system becomes clogged, and intraocular fluid fails to drain; When it accumulates, it causes an increase in pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve.
In most cases, the loss of peripheral vision is gradual, and painless and patients do not perceive it until it begins to affect the central field of vision.
Glaucoma is usually present in both eyes but usually begins to manifest first in one. Often, the first affectation occurs in the peripheral vision (with which we see the sides), so that initially the change of your vision is usually almost imperceptible; however, as time passes the patient may have the feeling that he is looking through a tunnel until his central vision is impaired. Hence the importance of performing periodic ophthalmological examinations, to achieve early detection and assign the appropriate treatment to preserve eyesight.
There are various types of glaucoma. The two main types are open-angle and closed-angle. They are characterized by an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), that is, the pressure inside the eye. Open-angle glaucoma – the most frequent form of glaucoma – accounts for at least 90% of all cases of glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, closed-angle glaucoma is a consequence of the closing process of the angle that is defined between the iris and the cornea.
Glaucoma can affect people of all ages, from babies to older adults; However, these are the main risk factors:
- Advanced age.
- Background in the glaucoma family.
- High intraocular pressure
- Mellitus diabetes
- Corneal thickness
Most forms of glaucoma are asymptomatic until the optic nerve injury progresses, and visual field loss develops. However, other forms of glaucoma do produce symptoms, such as blurred vision or headache, nausea, and vomiting, the appearance of rainbow-colored halos around bright lights and sudden vision loss. These forms of glaucoma can be diagnosed in earlier stages.
“Currently, more than 50% of people with glaucoma worldwide are not diagnosed. In many cases, the patient goes to the consultation when a high percentage of retinal nerve fibers have already been lost, and the defect in the visual field is already advanced and irreversible,” explained the director of therapeutic area for ophthalmology at Novartis in Central America and the Caribbean, Dr. Ainhoa Bacaicoa.
There are different challenges for the treatment and management of the glaucoma patient, which is possible to find fixed combinations that can reduce the complexity of the treatment and increase its adherence by reducing the number of medications to be used.
Among the potential benefits derived from the use of fixed combination therapies is the efficacy of lower intraocular pressure reduction compared to each of the components alone, reduced exposure to preservatives (better tolerability) and increased adherence by the patient to therapy.
“It has been estimated that the number of people with glaucoma will increase by 18.3% in 2020 and 74% in 2040 compared to 2013, so it is of the greatest importance to raise awareness among the population about a disease that can impact their quality of life, ”said Dr. Bacaicoa.
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