Glaucoma- Sneak Thief of Vision
Glaucoma is a condition that causes harm to your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. It with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Sometimes, it tends to be innate and may not show up until later in life. The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve leading to slow loss of vision which if gone undetected, can lead to complete loss of vision.
For the reason that most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to see your eye doctor regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed early and treated before lasting visual loss occurs.
If you are over age 40 and have a family history of glaucoma, you should have a complete eye exam every one to two years. Causes of glaucoma include a blunt or chemical injury to the eye, severe eye infection, blockage of blood vessels in the eye, inflammatory conditions of the eye, and occasionally eye surgery to correct another condition. Glaucoma more often than not occurs in both eyes, but it may involve each eye to a different extent. It most often occurs in adults over age 40, but it can also occur in young adults, children, and even infants.
For most people, there are usually few or no symptoms of glaucoma. The first sign of glaucoma is often the loss of peripheral vision, which can go undetected until late stages of the disease. Detecting glaucoma early is one reason you should have a complete exam with an eye specialist every one to two years. Rarely, intraocular pressure can rise to severe levels. In these cases, sudden eye pain, headache, blurred vision, or the appearance of halos around lights may occur. You should immediately see the doctor if you witness any of these symptoms such as redness in the eye, hazy eyes or tunnel vision.
Glaucoma treatment may include prescription eye drops, laser surgery, or microsurgery. The eye drops either reduce the formation of fluid in the front of the eye or increase its outflow thereby lowering the pressure. Laser surgery for glaucoma slightly increases the outflow of the fluid from the eye in open-angle glaucoma or eliminates the fluid blockage in angle-closure glaucoma. In microsurgery for glaucoma a new channel is created to drain the fluid, thereby reducing the intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. It is vital to know that blindness caused by glaucoma is irreversible which means that further vision loss can be prevented if detected in time but the vision already lost cannot be brought back. Glaucoma can be treated if early symptoms are paid heed to and proper diagnosis is done. Therefore, it is essential to visit your eye doctor regularly for a thorough eye examination.