According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in developed countries. That is the reason for the prevention of this disease. Glaucoma can be developed by anyone, however, it is more common in people over age 45 or 60, and people with a family history of glaucoma. Generally, children can get a rare form of glaucoma early.
Let’s begin with “what is glaucoma”. As we mentioned earlier, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in older people. It is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is an important part of good vision. The damage that causes glaucoma can be by abnormally high pressure in the eye.
Unfortunately, some forms of glaucoma have no warning signs, due to the gradual effect we don’t notice a change in the vision until it is in an advanced stage. Also, the vision loss by glaucoma cannot be recovered. Therefore, it is important to consult a specialist commonly, if the glaucoma is recognized early, it is easier to prevent vision loss.
Depending on the stage and type of glaucoma it will show symptoms. Those include:
- Patchy blind spots in the peripheral or central vision
- Tunnel vision (advanced stages)
- Eye pain
- Halos around lights
- Eye redness
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting.
4 things that you must know about glaucoma
Like many diseases, glaucoma has things that must be known by the patients, this way will be easier to prevent and accept the fact that we have to consult a specialist such as an ophthalmologist commonly.
- Low eye pressure is the only treatment for glaucoma: It is clinically proven that the only way to treat glaucoma is medicines that help the eye to make less fluid or lower the pressure by draining the fluid from the eye.
- A comprehensive dilated eye exam can catch glaucoma early: If we want to diagnosticate glaucoma early, we must get an exam. The specialist will use a magnifying lens to examine the back of the eye and look for signs of damages. It is recommended to be examined every one to two years, especially if the patient has higher risks of glaucoma.
- Usually, glaucoma is caused by excess fluid: As we know, a factor that can cause glaucoma is the pressure in the eyes. So, said this, if the fluid accumulates there is a problem with the drainage system in the eyes. When this happens, the fluid builds up, increasing the pressure. Then this pressure compresses the optic nerve, causing damage.
- There are more ways to treat this problem: SLT Laser is a pain-free option, it can help to lessen intraocular pressure by widening the fluid’s channels in your eyes. Also, the YAG laser makes a small hole in the corner of the iris and improves how fluids move through the eye.
It is important to consult a specialist either when feeling discomfort and thinking that there may be a relationship with glaucoma, or just to keep your vision healthy.
With the collaboration of Dr. Mercedes Silva Orellana, an ophthalmologist graduated from the National University Mayor of San Marcos, in Perú. Her specialties are Anterior Segment Surgery, Glaucoma Treatment, and Glaucoma Surgery, also offering treatment to patients suffering from closed-angle glaucoma, among others.
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