Glaucoma Types and Symptoms

Glaucoma: Don’t Be Blind To This Sight Stealing Disease!

Glaucoma Types and Symptoms

Glaucoma is primarily related to increased pressure, known as intraocular pressure, in one or both eyes. This elevated pressure in the eyes can lead to damage of the optic nerve. There are also cases where glaucoma is not related to eye pressure and is attributed to other causes such as poor blood flow to the optic nerve.

What is Glaucoma?

It is a disease of the optic nerve. The optic nerve plays a crucial role in vision. It receives nerve impulses from the retina and then transmits these impulses to the brain, which in turn recognizes these electrical signals as vision.

Glaucoma typically causes progressive damage to the optic nerve that often sets out with a subtle loss of peripheral vision (side vision). Without treatment, as the disease progresses it can cause loss of the central vision and eventually blindness.

Types of Glaucoma

Open Angle Glaucoma: Also referred to as chronic glaucoma, this form of the disease does not exhibit other signs or symptoms except gradual loss of vision. In fact, the loss of vision can be so slow as to not provoke much thought, but in the end, it causes irreversible damage. This type of glaucoma is the most common to affect individuals.

Angle Closure Glaucoma: This type of the disease is also known as acute glaucoma. A clear fluid called the aqueous humor is continuously produced in the back of the eye. This fluid fills the front portion of the eye, leaving the eye through canals in the iris and cornea.  Acute glaucoma occurs when the flow of this fluid is obstructed, causing a swift build-up of the fluid, and a consequent painful increase in eye pressure. This is an emergency and you must call your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms: severe pain, blurred vision, and nausea.

Congenital Glaucoma: This is often a condition that children are born with and can be hereditary too. It presents itself as a defect in the angle of the eye, preventing normal fluid drainage. Symptoms include excessive tearing, cloudy eyes, and sensitivity to light.

Normal Tension Glaucoma: The cause for this type of glaucoma is not known as individuals may experience symptoms without an increase in eye pressure. The only causes that can be attributed to the condition are extreme sensitivity in the eye or lack of adequate blood flow to the optic nerve.

Secondary Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is usually a side effect of accidents/ injuries or other eye conditions like cataracts or tumours. Other causes include certain types of medication, or in rare cases, eye surgery.

Symptoms of Glaucoma and Risk Factors

Common symptoms to look out for:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexpected disturbances in vision
  • Seeing coloured rings around lights
  • Redness in the eye

Major risk factors for the disease include:

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Over 45 years of age
  • Diabetes
  • Prior history of increased intraocular pressure
  • Decrease in corneal rigidity and thickness
  • Near-sightedness or far-sightedness
  • Any previous injury to the eye
  • Use of steroids, either directly in the eye, or orally or injected

Glaucoma is often referred to as the silent thief of sight as the disease can destroy vision without exhibiting obvious symptoms. Awareness as well as early detection is
extremely important to treat the disease successfully. Be sure to get your
eye check done routinely with an eye specialist


All You Need to Know Ahead of a Hemicolectomy Surgery

A hemicolectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a section of the large intestine, also called the colon. The colon regulates water in the body and absorbs water from foods consumed. Its other essential functions include absorbing vitamins and processing waste.

The hemicolectomy procedure is recommended when the colon is damaged by either disease or trauma. Some of the diseases that may require a hemicolectomy include colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and severe diverticulitis.

Types of hemicolectomy

The colon is made up of three parts. There’s the ascending colon, attached to the small intestine; the descending colon, attached to the rectum; and the transverse colon, located between the ascending and descending colon.

Depending on the section of the colon affected by disease or trauma, a hemicolectomy may be needed to remove a part of the colon on the right or left side. These are the two main types of hemicolectomy: right hemicolectomy and left hemicolectomy.

If a patient requires right hemicolectomy, the ascending colon is removed and the transverse colon is directly attached to the small intestine. In case of a left hemicolectomy, the descending colon is removed and the transverse colon is attached to the rectum.

Preparing for the surgery

  • The hemicolectomy can be performed either through open surgery or laparoscopy. The preparation for the procedure will vary person-to-person, depending on overall health and the medications they are subject to. But a few general steps are the same:
  • Your physician will prescribe preoperative tests to ascertain your health condition. This could include physical examination, blood tests, and an EKG (electrocardiogram).
  • According to your health condition, your physician may recommend that you stop certain medications that you are on.
  • You may have to take laxatives ahead of the surgery. It’s called a bowel prep and helps clear the digestive tract.
  • Patients may have to fast for 12 hours before the hemicolectomy.


Hemicolectomy recovery after surgery

  • Recovering after a hemicolectomy surgery depends on multiple factors: the patient’s pre-existing conditions, the type and extent of the surgery, and of course the age and physical well-being of the patient. A gist of what you can expect after the surgery:
  • Without complications, the procedure requires hospitalization for about 3-7 days.
  • Doctors usually encourage patients to start walking after the procedure as soon as possible, which can help decrease the chances of a blood clot developing and to promote good digestion.
  • A bladder catheter to drain urine will remain for a day or two after the surgery. Other abdominal drains may also be placed to remove waste from the body.
  • Pain medication is administered through an epidural around the time of surgery. Further oral medication may be prescribed as well.
  • Diet-wise, patients are allowed to get back to a normal diet according to recovery.
  • When the patient is discharged, they will receive specific instructions for further care, which must be followed minutely. These instructions will help the patient return to routine activities like driving and lifting heavy objects after a sufficient recovery period.

Have more questions about the hemicolectomy procedure, recovery
and diet or about inflammatory bowel disease? You can now book a tele
consultation on MediBuddy to have your questions answered over a call
with a specialist!

Thyroidectomy Surgery: Types, Complications and Recovery

Thyroidectomy Surgery and Recovery

The thyroid gland is a core part of the endocrine system that helps regulate the body’s metabolism. Built quite simply and shaped like a butterfly, the gland has two lobes connected via the thyroid isthmus and is found at the front of the lower neck. When disease affects the thyroid, its activity is often affected, causing imbalances in hormone secretion. Some diseases can also raise the need for a thyroidectomy – a surgical procedure to remove all or a section of the thyroid gland.

Why is thyroidectomy surgery done?

A thyroidectomy can be recommended for any of these conditions:

Cancer: The most common reason for thyroidectomy is to remove cancerous thyroid tumors. For those diagnosed with thyroid cancer, the treatment plan often involves removing part or all of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy can also be necessary if a biopsy on a thyroid nodule indicates inconclusive readings.

Goiter: It is a condition that causes enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy to remove all or part of the gland could be part of the treatment.

Hyperthyroidism: It is a condition where an overactive thyroid gland produces the hormone thyroxine in excess. If other treatment plans for hyperthyroidism like anti-thyroid drugs and radioactive iodine therapy are not an option for you, thyroidectomy may be necessary.

Types of thyroidectomy

Total thyroidectomy — The procedure entails removal of the entire thyroid gland.

Thyroid lobectomy —  In this procedure, an entire thyroid lobe is removed.

Partial thyroid lobectomy — A rare procedure where only a part of one thyroid lobe is removed.

Thyroid lobectomy with isthmusectomy — An entire thyroid lobe is removed along with the isthmus between the two lobes.

Subtotal thyroidectomy — A small part of a thyroid lobe is left to preserve thyroid function. An entire lobe, the isthmus and a part of the other lobe are removed.

Complications of thyroidectomy

Although thyroidectomy surgery is usually a safe procedure, it could still give rise to a few minor or major complications such as:

Hemorrhage: Patients may develop a hemorrhage under the neck wound. The wound may bulge, making the neck swell and cause difficulty in breathing.

Injury to the RLN (recurrent laryngeal nerve) — This injury can lead to vocal cord paralysis. It can leave you with a husky voice, either for a short time or for the rest of your life. Similarly, an injury in the the superior laryngeal nerve can affect your ability to hit high notes, and your voice projection can be compromised.

Thyroid storm — This is a rare scenario since medicines are administered before the surgery to prevent the complication. But in cases where a thyroidectomy is done to treat hyperthyroidism, it could result in inducing a surge of thyroid hormones into the blood.

Hypoparathyroidism — If the parathyroid glands are affected during surgery, the body may not be able to produce sufficient parathyroid hormone. Low production of parathyroid hormone causes low blood calcium levels.

Thyroidectomy recovery

As in the case of most surgeries, most people will have a sore throat due to the breathing tube used for anesthesia. Pain at the point of incision will be minimal and patients are generally given mild pain medication. As the wound heals around the incision, you may experience itching for a few weeks. The incision may leave a scar depending on the procedure undertaken, but the scars usually heal well.

While walking and other regular activities can be resumed within a day the surgery, strenuous activity and heavy lifting are not recommended for 2 weeks. Depending on your work and lifestyle, you may need to take 1-2 weeks off work after a thyroidectomy. It may be more comfortable to eat soft foods for a few days.

Patients may also experience mild discomfort while swallowing or notice subtle changes in the voice, both of which will take a few days to settle. Variations in the voice can even take a few months to settle.  The patients’ blood calcium levels will be tracked in the hospital and even after discharge to ascertain the functioning of the parathyroid glands.

Thyroidectomy is among the many routine procedures that are commonly done today. Nevertheless, a thorough investigation is necessary to set you on the right course of treatment. Get started today and book a consultation with a specialist on MediBuddy Infiniti


Appendicitis: A Clear Look at Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Connected to the colon and extending from the large intestine, the appendix is a finger-shaped, 3 1/2-inch-long pouch on the right side of the abdomen. There is no definitive answer on its bodily function, but science has the verdict – you can live without it too, without any apparent consequence.

What causes appendicitis?

As cryptic as the existence of the appendix is the cause for appendicitis. The most common cause that physicians note is obstruction in the appendix. This obstruction can either be partial or complete, and in the latter case warrants immediate medical attention and surgery.

Causes for obstruction of appendix:

  • Worms
  • Trauma
  • Stool/fecal matter
  • Tumors
  • Enlarged lymphoid follicles

These obstructions in the appendix can cause bacteria to multiply in the organ, eventually leading to pus formation and causing pressure that can be painful. An infected appendix can compress local blood vessels. There are several other things that can go wrong:

  • Lack of blood flow to the appendix can cause gangrene.
  • A ruptured appendix can fill the abdomen with fecal matter .
  • A ruptured appendix can also cause peritonitis: a condition that causes inflammation of the tissue that lines the abdominal wall.
  • A rupture can inflame other organs too like the bladder, cecum, and sigmoid colon.
  • The infected appendix can leak instead of rupturing, which can cause an abscess to form. Although in this case the infection is restricted to a smaller area, an abscess is still dangerous.

Signs and symptoms of appendicitis

Common symptoms of appendicitis:

  1. Dull pain near navel or upper abdomen that becomes sharp as it moves to the lower right abdomen
  2. Nausea/vomiting before or after onset of abdominal pain
  3. Abdominal swelling
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Fever
  6. Inability to pass gas

Lesser known symptoms to look out for:

  1. Pain in the upper or lower abdomen, back, or rectum
  2. Painful urination or difficulty in passing urine
  3. Constipation or diarrhea with gas
  4. Severe cramps

Appendicitis diagnosis and treatment

For appendicitis diagnosis, a physician will begin with a physical exam, looking for tenderness in the lower right side of the abdomen. Aside from the physical exam, there aren’t any specific tests to diagnose appendicitis. Your doctor may order a CBC (complete blood count) test. The test can help determine the presence of a bacterial infection, which is often correlated with appendicitis. Your physician will also order other tests to rule out appendicitis and other similar conditions, and proceed with the treatment plan according to the spread of infection or the rupture. This often entails antibiotics and surgery.

What is an appendectomy?

The surgical removal of the appendix, in case of a block or infection, is called an appendectomy. The procedure is commonly performed to treat appendicitis. Depending on the extent of the infection, doctors use a combination of antibiotics to fight the infection, followed by surgery to remove the appendix that may put you at dire risk in the future if not treated immediately at the onset of symptoms.

Appendicitis requires immediate diagnosis to eliminate risks and complications in the treatment. It is, however, a treatable condition. Book a consultation on MediBuddy Infiniti for expert medical advice on appendicitis care and treatment.