What is Glaucoma? In simple words, it is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve, often associated with the built-up pressure inside the eye. Why does this pressure build-up in the eye, and how significant a threat can Glaucoma be to your vision?
Read on to find all your answers about this distressing eye disease that can cause permanent vision loss / complete blindness within a few years!
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause blindness or vision loss by damaging the optic nerve (present at the back of the eye). There is no cure for Glaucoma; however, early treatment can stop further damage and protect your existing vision.
What causes Glaucoma?
Aqueous humor, fluid inside the eye, flows out of it through a mesh-like channel. If this channel is blocked or the eye is producing excessive fluid, the liquid gets built up. Scientists and medical experts aren’t sure of the exact reason behind such blockages.
Is Glaucoma harmful to vision?
Yes! Any damage instilled on the optic nerve will hinder the information that needs to be passed on from the eye to the brain. Such compromised information (in terms of quality and quantity) can lead to loss of vision.
Who all are at the risk of Glaucoma?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness globally.
You are likely to get Glaucoma if you:
- are over 40 years of age;
- are of African American, Japanese, Irish, Inuit, Russian, Hispanic, or Scandinavian descent;
- have a family history of Glaucoma;
- have diabetes;
- are nearsighted or farsighted;
- have poor vision;
- have had an eye injury;
- have unusually thin corneas;
- have heart diseases or high blood pressure;
- use corticosteroids for extended
What are the different types of Glaucoma?
There are two major types of Glaucoma
- Open-Angle (Chronic) Glaucoma
- Angle-Closure (Acute) Glaucoma.
1. Open-Angle Glaucoma :
- Accounts for 90% of all Glaucoma cases (most common type of Glaucoma)
- It does not carry any significant symptom except for gradual vision loss
- It is painless
- Causes no vision change in its early stages
- The gradual vision loss can cause irreparable damage before symptoms show up
2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma :
- A less common form of Glaucoma
- It happens when the flow of aqueous humor fluid is suddenly blocked, followed by a rapid build-up of the fluid, causing a quick and painful increase in pressure
- Develops speedily
- Has noticeable symptoms like sudden blurredness, severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting
It is a true emergency that can make you go blind if you do not consult your ophthalmologist right away!
Whats are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
Open-Angle Glaucoma (the most common type of Glaucoma) does not carry any significant symptoms except for a gradual vision loss. On the other hand, Acute-Closure Glaucoma needs immediate attention if any of the following symptoms show up:
- Sudden blurred vision
- Severe eye pain
- Seeing colored rings around lights
- Redness in eye
Will I go bling if I Have Glaucoma?
Though Glaucoma is known to cause blindness, much damage control can be done if diagnosed early. On the contrary, if not treated in time, the disease can cause peripheral vision loss, followed by central vision loss and then complete blindness.
How can Glaucoma be treated?
Any treatment for Glaucoma does not restore eyesight. Treatments are carried to prevent further vision loss and damage. Depending on eye health, doctors treat Glaucoma differently, including giving medicines, laser treatment, and surgery.
Quick Tips for Living with Glaucoma
- Regular exercise can help lower eye pressure and get the blood flowing in the
- Eating a well-rounded diet will keep not just your eyes but your whole body
- Not taking your medicines as directed can worsen your eye
- Quit Smoking to keep that blood pressure under control and reduce eye
- Keeping an eye on your caffeine intake can help you control your eye pressure at the desired
- Avoid rubbing your eyes as that can worsen your eye