Published on Feb 13, 2018 and last reviewed on Feb 04, 2022 - 2 min read
Glaucoma is an eye condition that is caused by fluid-build up and increased pressure in the eye, leading to progressive vision loss.
Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive disease. It poses a diagnostic dilemma for ophthalmologists and the patients get frustrated because it is often diagnosed at the advanced stage and they are unaware that they even have a disease. As there are no symptoms initially, they are unsure if they should continue the medicines or not and for doctors, it is difficult to decide whether to start treatment or not, when to start, when to stop, when to change, add-on or switch to surgery.
Every ophthalmologist may follow their own protocol in this disease. But as I said it is a chronic progressive disease. What happens is the person visits an ophthalmologist with a non-specific symptom, sometimes not specific to the disease even and gets to know the possibility of having this disease even with a good vision. Yes, this is possible and you would be lucky if you get informed early about the possibility of this disease because there are so many treatment options available if detected early.
As soon as you get to know about the possibility of having glaucoma, get a baseline visual field examination done, and diurnal intraocular pressure changes recorded. The vision best corrected and uncorrected both should be recorded at the first sitting for follow-ups. At this stage, you may not require initiation of the medicines but in advanced cases, immediate treatment is required.
Remember, it is a progressive disease. So, regular yearly followup is required. At times, it may seem useless to the patient but it must not be overlooked that the disease progression can be halted or at least slowed down if not completely stopped.
Also, not to forget, once the damage has occurred, it cannot be reverted by any means. So, early diagnosis and initiating treatment with any sign of progression is the key. Even after initiating treatment, there is no single drug that fits all. For every patient, the treatment is individualized with close follow-up with the recording of vision and intraocular pressure at every followup which is monthly at this time.
This is just a drop of knowledge from the whole sea, in terms of information about glaucoma.
The Points Not to Forget Are:
For more information consult a glaucoma specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/eye-care-ophthalmologist/glaucoma
The optic nerve gets damaged in people with glaucoma due to fluid accumulation in the eye. If this condition is left untreated, the pressure can permanently damage the eyesight. As a result, glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness. The treatment includes using eye drops, laser treatments, and surgeries.
Glaucoma is a serious condition if left untreated, as it can lead to blindness. Therefore, many people with glaucoma are asymptomatic in the earlier stages. Still, once it reaches advanced stages, it can get severe and requires immediate treatment so you do not lose your eyesight.
In glaucoma, the optic nerve gets damaged due to the high pressure in the eyes. In the elderly above 60 years of age, it is one of the main causes of blindness. Therefore, adults are more likely to develop glaucoma. However, anyone at any age can develop it. There are no warning symptoms, which is why you should be worried about glaucoma.
Even after treatment, around 15 to 20 percent of patients can become blind in at least one eye after 15 to 20 years of follow-up. But for most individuals, it does not lead to blindness. However, treatment cannot reverse the damage already done by the condition, but further vision loss can be prevented.
Glaucoma is generally a slowly progressing eye disease. The primary open-angle glaucoma, which is one of the most common glaucomas, there is slow damage to the retinal cells of the eyes. On average, untreated glaucoma takes around 10 to 15 years to reach from early damage to complete blindness.
Glaucoma progression can be slowed by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake. In case you are at an increased risk of getting the condition, a comprehensive dilated eye examination is advised to detect glaucoma at the earlier stages. Putting eye drops can also stop glaucoma from progressing further.
People with glaucoma might have to make certain adjustments because of glaucoma but do not have to limit their life because of it. Several individuals can lead an active and healthy life with the condition. However, they might have to make increased visits to the ophthalmologist and stick to certain medications.
Things to avoid if you have glaucoma are -
- Saturated fats.
- Trans fat.
- Lifting heavy weights.
- Scuba diving.
- Bungee jumping.
The most common treatment for glaucoma is putting prescription eye drops. These eye drops work by lowering the eye pressure and averting further damage to the optic nerves. The eye drops do not cure glaucoma or alter the vision change, but they can keep a check on glaucoma from progressing further.
Glaucoma develops when the optic nerve (nerve of the eye) gets damaged. As this nerve slowly deteriorates, blind spots develop in the vision. This damage to the nerve is due to increased pressure in the eyes.
Glaucoma is a severe disease of the eyes that can lead to loss of vision in left untreated. But for many people, it does not necessarily lead to blindness, as it can be controlled with treatment that keeps glaucoma from further damaging the eyes.
In case you are diagnosed with glaucoma, you might be eligible for social security disability benefits. The social security administration understands that it might be challenging to work with vision loss and thus makes the benefits easily available for people with glaucoma and blindness.
One of the side effects of glaucoma is glare sensitivity. This can be worsened by sunlight, fluorescent lights, LED, or other light sources. This further makes it difficult for individuals to perform everyday activities like driving at night and going out.
Mildly elevated eye pressure is usually asymptomatic. However, elevated eye pressure around 35 or higher might cause pain in and around the eyes, nausea, headaches, blurred vision, narrowed vision, blind spots, or vomiting.
Last reviewed at:
04 Feb 2022 - 2 min read
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