Are you aware that mostly 40% of our eye vision is lost due to glaucoma even without noticing? “Sneak thief of sight” is the word given to glaucoma because there are no early symptoms seen once your vision or eye sight is lost and it’s not even temporary it’s permanent. People, who are severely nearsighted, or the people suffering from diabetes or who have family members with glaucoma are also at higher risk of suffering from this disorder.
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As stated above there is no cure for glaucoma, but to prevent the disorder or to slow it down various treatment are included such as surgery and medication. That is the reason why you should have regular eye checkups especially after 60.
What is Glaucoma?
- Glaucoma damages your eyes optic nerve and by the time it gets worse. It is mostly associated with building up the pressure inside the eye.
- It tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life. The intraocular pressure i.e. the increase in pressure damages the optic nerve that transmits images to the brain.
- Permanent loss of vision from glaucoma can occur if there is continuous damage to the optic nerve from the higher pressure of eye.
- Total permanent blindness can cause within few years if the disorder is not treated at time.
What Causes Glaucoma?
- Till date the exact cause is not known but it involves mechanical compression or decrease in blood flow of optic nerve.
- Many people may also develop glaucoma with the normal eye pressure.
What are the Types of Glaucoma?
- Open-angle glaucoma: – it is a most common type of glaucoma which is called as wide angle glaucoma. The fluid in the eye does not flow properly still the structure of the eye will appear normal. This is termed as trabecular meshwork.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: poor drainage is caused because in between the angle of iris and cornea is very narrow and it is physically blocked with the iris, which suddenly builds up the pressure in the eye. This is also called as narrow angle glaucoma.
Who gets Affected by Glaucoma?
Many of the people think over it again and again whether they have risk of getting affected by glaucoma? Let me answer your question. Glaucoma often occurs in adults at age of 40, but it also has tendency to occur in children as well as in infants too. You are at higher risk of developing glaucoma if you observe the following:-
- Hereditary problem
- More than 40 years of age
- Poor eye sight
- Person suffering from high diabetes
- High intake of steroid, medications
- Trauma to eyes
What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
- For many people there are negligible symptoms of glaucoma. But at most the first sign is often the loss of side vision which may go unnoticed till the last stage of disease.
- You need immediate care if you observe any of the following symptoms:-
- Loss in vision
- Eye redness
- Pain in eyes
- Shortening in vision
- Hazy looks
- Burning dry eyes
- Seeing spots
- Doubly vision
- Colour of vision changes
- Watery eyes
- The following are the indications of serious problems that may require emergency medical attention:
- Sudden loss of vision in one eye
- blurred vision
- black spots
- Halos around light
The symptoms listed above do not mean that you particularly suffer from glaucoma. But if you experience more than one symptom at a time then you should immediately visit a doctor for consultation.
How is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
- Doctor will test your eye vision through dilated pupils and he will examine it in order to diagnose a person from glaucoma.
- The exam of eye is completely depending upon optic nerve which has particular appearance in glaucoma.
- In fact the photographs of optic nerve is also helpful to follow overtime as the appearance changes as the level of disease progress
- Doctor will perform a procedure known as tonometry for checking the eye pressure.
- If required visual field test is also done to determine if there is loss in vision
- Test related to glaucoma are painless and it takes very less time.
- The best way to detect glaucoma is to do regular eye check up with the doctor who measures eye pressure, inspects the drainage angle of your eye, test the visual field.
- Optic nerve evaluation and visual field testing are performed at regular intervals to monitor the effects of glaucoma.
- The information from these tests provides an indication of the effectiveness of the treatment being used and whether further treatments are required or not.
- Not all the test is compulsory for every person at every visit. The objective is only to determine if glaucoma damage has progressed over time.