Glaucoma is an eye condition deemed more damage than brain tumors and cancer.
Glaucoma does not kill a person but causes massive damage to their eyesight, making them nearly blind.
Their life changes, and several older adults struggle, unable to adjust to the vision loss and its repercussions.
What is Glaucoma?
The pressure in our eyes increases enormously after sixty, causing problems in vision. Several glaucoma patients do not notice any change in their vision until one fine day when they cannot see completely.
Vision loss will be regained if the pressure is controllable and glaucoma is treatable.
Doctors cannot restore the lost vision in advanced stages, and it is important to notice any changes in your sight, like blurred images or blind spots at an early stage.
Educate yourself about this deadly condition and start taking the necessary precautions. If a near and dear one in your family suffers from glaucoma, check for genetic disorders and start doing the needful.
Start getting regular eye check-ups from middle age and follow the doctor’s advice like wearing eyeglasses and using eye drops.
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Main symptoms and causes
The main symptoms of glaucoma are alterations in the vision, which only the sufferers can realize.
Creating awareness about glaucoma among the risky age group will help them report early if they see signs.
The most severe symptom is tunnel vision or feeling like looking at the entire world through a narrow tube.
It occurs at the advanced stage, and it is hard to cure as the patient has already lost a substantial part of their vision.
The appearance of certain blind spots while you see things is an early symptom. It often goes unnoticed because the patches occur on the side vision.
Patients start feeling something is wrong only when they see a black spot on their central vision. Apart from these symptoms, constant pain in the eye and irritation are also other symptoms.
The leading causes of glaucoma are genetics and eye pressure caused due to age-related optic nerve weakness.
Treatment for glaucoma
“Aqueous humor,” a liquid found in the eye, fails to drain, creating high pressure in our eyes. A trabecular meshwork tissue usually drains the extra eye fluid at a young age.
When you grow older, blood vessels in the eye die, and there isn’t enough blood supply to the optic nerve.
The weakened optical nerves cannot regularly drain the accumulating fluid through their chamber.
Pressure in the eyes keeps elevating as the liquid accumulates for years adding weight to the already delicate and weak optic nerves.
Treatment involves a) strengthening the optical nerves, b) draining the aqueous humor, and c) removing blockages from the meshwork through surgery.
Doctors prescribe eye drops and medicine to bring down the pressure and reduce aqueous humor production.
Controlling the hormones that produce the liquid also helps accumulate more weight and keep the pressure under control.
Surgery is done at advanced stages when none of these works, and a small tube is inserted in the eye to drain out all the excess water.
Once you cross 40, meet the dentist and the ophthalmologist regularly at least once in six months. Be cautious if some direct family member has glaucoma and report it to your ophthalmologist.
They will monitor your eye pressure constantly through a test called tonometry. Educate yourself about the various symptoms of glaucoma and report any abnormality you see in your vision.
You must check your eyes if you notice Halo around lamps, if your vision gets blurry, or have other injuries in the eyes.
If you are taking corticosteroids because of other eye issues, cancer, or rheumatic disorders, there are high chances of getting glaucoma as a side effect.
Consult your doctor and start taking the right eye drops once you start seeing early symptoms of glaucoma. The disorder can be highly contained, preventing further vision loss if treatments begin early.
Tips for handling glaucoma
Glaucoma can occur even in children and people much younger than 40. It is wise to educate yourself about the symptoms and get checked for the disorder voluntarily.
Get children checked once in 5 to 10 years for glaucoma to stay on the safer side. It is vital to maintain your general eye health by steering clear of electronic monitors.
Keep your eyes relaxed and cool, and do regular exercise to keep the pressure under control.
If you are genetically inclined to get glaucoma, start taking the right eyedrops from the initial onset. It will help you manage your vision without any issues unless you don’t stop using it.
If you face any major eye injuries, check for glaucoma once you heal for the next two years to ensure the liquid draining meshwork in your eye is working fine.
Sandra is a health blogger based in San Diego, California. She is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. She loves being outdoors and exploring new places with her husband. She is a mom of two awesome kids and a dog named Luna!