Karin P. just can not believe it: Although her intraocular pressure is always between 15 and 20 mmHg, which is within the normal range, her vision is irretrievably gone in large parts of her field of vision.
The unknown sites of glaucoma
Although her ophthalmologist about two years ago, a glaucoma, also known as the Green Star, had diagnosed and prescribed her eye drops, but she has not taken them for a long time. Her alternative practitioner treats her holistically with acupuncture and naturopathic remedies designed to improve the flow of energy throughout the organism. Antiglaukomatosa, as they are called the eye drops against green star, would only be there to lower an excessive intraocular pressure and it's still normal.
When Karin P. returns to the ophthalmologist for a follow-up visit, she finds out the appalling finding: Since her last visit, a significant portion of her optic nerve cells have died, her eyesight has deteriorated dramatically, so she has to give up driving, at least in the dark. With a correct diagnosis and specialist therapy this could have been prevented.
To exclude errors
Prof. Lutz E. Pillunat, Director of the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Dresden and a member of the professional association of ophthalmologists knows the misjudgments in the diagnosis of cataracts: "It is a fatal and unfortunately still widespread error that glaucoma in principle with an increased intraocular pressure connected is." In about 50 percent of glaucoma, the pressure values are in the normal range and yet the optic nerve is threatened. Therefore, a glaucoma check-up is only useful if, in addition to an intraocular pressure measurement, the condition of the optic nerve is assessed at the same time.
"There are several reasons for glaucoma without conspicuously high intraocular pressure: A low tolerance limit - even a relatively low pressure destroys the sensitive nerve fiber cells, " says Prof. Pillunat. At the same time, the perfusion of the optic nerve may be disturbed - it is not sufficiently supplied with oxygen and nutrients. Dysregulations of the vascular system are characteristic of normal pressure glaucoma.
Another misconception is that glaucoma preparations only lower intraocular pressure. Many of the eye drops prescribed today also improve the blood supply to the retina and the optic nerve. "As a result of ignorance and error, glaucoma is still one of the most common causes of blindness - despite reliable diagnostic methods and effective therapy concepts that can maintain vision, " explains Prof. Pillunat.
With early detection for the best therapy
To detect and treat glaucoma before damage to the optic nerve occurs, every 40 years of age, every two years, should take precautionary ophthalmic examinations to detect early glaucoma. This consists of the combination of an examination of the optic nerve and an intraocular pressure measurement. When diagnosed with glaucoma, it is essential that the patient conscientiously apply the prescribed therapy prescribed by the ophthalmologist.
The statutory health insurance companies do not take the check-up, but you should definitely treat the low cost in his eyesight. Dr. Uwe Kraffel, First Chairman of the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists: "There is no alternative to glaucoma therapy, which does not mean that ophthalmologists reject complementary measures, on the contrary, where they are useful, they are offered by ophthalmologists." This is supported by the working groups "Psychosomatics" and "Naturopathic, Acupuncture and Homeopathy" established in the professional association of ophthalmologists.