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Glaucoma: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

You must have heard of Glaucoma; it is one of the most prevalent eye illnesses. According to research, Glaucoma is much more prevalent in elders- nearly 10% of all people over the age of 75 suffer from it.


Glaucoma is a very severe visual disorder that, if left untreated, can result in the loss of vision. Moreover, detecting this eye illness is particularly challenging, as symptoms do not show until the disease has advanced.


What is Glaucoma?




Glaucoma is a kind of eye disorder that causes damage to the optic nerve, the health of which is essential for clear vision. This damage is frequently caused by an extremely high level of pressure in your eyes. This disease is one of the topmost causes of blindness in persons over the age of 60, and it affects both the eyes (left and right).


However, the fact is that Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age, but it is more frequent in older persons. Many types of Glaucoma have no outward signs or symptoms because the effect is so gradual, you may not notice a change in your vision until the condition has progressed to a more severe stage.


Glaucoma can't be reversed; hence, it's critical to have frequent eye exams that involve measures of your eye pressure so that a diagnosis may be made in its early stages and treatment can be administered as soon as possible. Early or timely detection and treatment can reduce the chances of vision or avoid it entirely. Once detected, patients require therapy for the rest of their life.


Symptoms of Glaucoma


There are two types of Glaucoma:

1. Open-Angle

2. Closed Angle


1. Open-Angle Glaucoma: Among the two, open-angle glaucoma is more prevalent, and it is also more difficult to identify. Patients with open-angle Glaucoma have a gradual loss of vision, which can eventually result in full blindness if left untreated. In this kind of illness, the patient's vision gradually diminishes, and optic nerve alterations start to occur due to this condition. Because there are no discernible alterations in the early stages, it becomes more difficult to detect its presence. Some of the common symptoms of open-angle glaucoma include,

  • Sudden and painful vision loss

  • Blind spots or patches in your peripheral (side) or central vision, frequently in both eyes

  • Severe headache

  • Eye pain

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Blurred vision

  • Halos around lights

  • Eye redness

2. Closed Angle Glaucoma: Closed-angle Glaucoma is a more rare form of the disease. However, this condition's symptoms are also considerably more acute, and include;

  • Pain in the eyes

  • Seeing spots

  • Halos around lights

  • Red eyes

  • Nausea

Closed-angle Glaucoma must be treated as soon as possible since it has the potential to cause full blindness very quickly.


Causes of Glaucoma


As previously stated, the fundamental cause of this eye disease is an increase in the pressure on the ocular nerve as a result of the fluid present in the eyes increasing in volume (aqueous humor).


In and of itself, genetics has an impact on the growth in pressure levels. Other factors that contribute to Glaucoma include:

  • Diabetes

  • Blood pressure fluctuations

  • Hypertension

  • Trauma

Since Glaucoma is associated with advanced age, it is significantly more prevalent among the elderly. It is because of genetics and the rising prevalence of health problems among them, such as hypertension, diabetes, and other ailments. It is one of those diseases that eventually result in blindness if left untreated.


Prevention


Here is what you shall do to prevent Glaucoma:


1. Get dilated eye exams regularly- Regular eye exams can diagnose Glaucoma early on, preventing permanent damage. Experts advise thorough eye exams. For example:

  • People below under 40 should seek medical advice every five to ten years.

  • People between 40 to 54 of age must visit an eye specialist every two to four years.

  • People between 55 to 65 should see experts every one to three years.

  • Lastly, people over 65 must-visit eye specialists every one to two years.

Regular visits are necessary because the risk of Glaucoma requires more regular screening. So, you should visit a reputable laser eye centre in Delhi for eye tests.


2. Consult a specialist- Your eye specialist will prescribe some eye drops for you to use to manage the illness better. It is vital that you use these drops on a regular basis and in the manner recommended by your ophthalmologist. Glaucoma eye drops have been shown to reduce the chance of developing glaucoma significantly.


Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, you should continue to use the eye drops prescribed by your doctor.


3. Wear sunglasses- Eye damage can cause glaucoma. Hence, it is critical to play high-speed racquet sports in enclosed courts with eye protection.


When should you visit the doctor?


In case you experience some of the symptoms of acute angle-closure Glaucoma, such as a severe headache, eye pain, or blurred vision, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Know that glaucoma cannot be reversed or cured, but the good news is that it can be managed. People who have glaucoma should have regular eye examinations. Glaucoma patients need to continue therapy for the remainder of their lives. Chronic glaucoma, if left untreated, can result in permanent vision loss within a few years.


So, the moment you start to have any symptoms of Glaucoma, do get your eye checked up immediately and have regular eye examinations.

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