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Choosing a Medical Aid in South Africa


 

  

  

Do Medical Aids Cover Glaucoma Treatment?

 

The short answer to the question is “yes”. Glaucoma is one of those conditions listed as a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB for short). This condition is not fatal and in most cases a cure can be expected.

 

Do Medical Aids Cover Glaucoma TreatmentMedical schemes are required by law to provide full cover for all the different types of glaucoma. This cover must extend to the cost of diagnosis, treatment and care, including medication. Cover must even be provided for certain surgical procedures such as laser treatment, the removal of the iris and all costs of surgical management.

 

In some cases it may be necessary to ask the attending doctor to write a motivation for approval by the scheme.

 

More About Glaucoma

This condition affects the eyes. It is caused when the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain is damaged. When it comes to diseases that cause blindness, glaucoma is second only to cataracts.

 

What Causes It?

There is a chamber in front of the human eye that contains a clear fluid. In normal people small amounts of this fluid is released periodically in order to avoid pressure. If excess fluid is not released, pressure builds up and this eventually damages the optic nerve.

 

 

What Are The Symptoms For The Four Type Of Glaucoma?

 

 

·     Chronic or open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this disease. In this case pressure builds up gradually. The patient feels no discomfort at first and no symptoms manifest themselves until the disease is already in an advanced stage.

·     Angle-Closure glaucoma occurs when there is a sudden blockage This can be caused by certain medicines of inflammation of the eye. Patients experience pain they develop headaches and they may be nauseous.

·     Secondary glaucoma is very similar to sudden-closure. It is described as any type of glaucoma that is caused by disease, medicines, infections and inflammations.

·     Glaucoma can be hereditary and a very small number of infants are born with the disease. Such babies are very sensitive to light and they tend to twitch their eyes continually.

How Do They Test For The Disease?

There are five popular tests and you may have to undergo more than one of them. The tests are very effective and patients do not experience much discomfort.

 

1.  The visual acuity test is very similar to the tests they carry out when testing for spectacles.

2.  The pressure test is conducted by measuring the pressure within the eye.

3.  In some cases the specialist will use an ophthalmoscope to conduct a detailed investigation.

4.  A gonioscopy is conducted when it is necessary to investigate the outer edges of the eyes.

5.  A physical examination of the optic nerve is also sometimes deemed necessary.

 

Is Glaucoma Very Common?

 

It is common enough. In South Africa approximately five percent of all people suffer from glaucoma. A quarter of all blindness cases can be directly connected to this disease. It is certainly worthwhile to ask for tests if any symptoms are experienced. © Medical Aid Plan

 

 

 

 

 

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