I have a few questions about glaucoma. I recently had my yearly eye check-up, and my doctor told me that my eye pressure is slightly above average. I know that having a high eye pressure can cause glaucoma, and it leads to permanent blindness. I do not have any pain in the eye, and also there is no family history of glaucoma. So my question is, how do I know if I have glaucoma, and what are the chances of actually getting diagnosed with glaucoma?
Is there any home treatments I can do to reduce my chances of getting glaucoma? Any eye drops I can use or any pills or vitamins I can take? My doctor said that just because my eye pressure is slightly above average, it does not mean I have glaucoma. My doctor also said there is nothing to worry about, but I need a second opinion.
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Over the years, glaucoma definition has changed. Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve with visual field defects, and intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the risk factors. Only with high IOP, we cannot label that someone has glaucoma. Because some people have IOP more elevated than normal but still that is not damaging (called ocular hypertension), and some people have normal IOP, and that is damaging for them, so that is labeled as normal tension glaucoma. So IOP only is not determining factor to label glaucoma other important factors are there.
Glaucoma evaluation needs some tests like visual fields and OCT (optical coherence tomography) and optic disc. After seeing all test, diagnosis of glaucoma is labeled. Complete eye exam and analyses are needed for diagnosing. Pain is a feature of one type of glaucoma that is angle closure, and most of the patients of glaucoma would never have pain and will be diagnosed accidentally or through routine eye exam or with decreased vision.
No medication is needed until the diagnosis of glaucoma is made. Risk of glaucoma is still there even if family history is negative. Especially after 40 years of age, people having glasses (myopes or hypermetropia) are at risk. So I would advise you not to worry and let your doctor decide. If he or she thinks you need some tests, they will advise you and then determine whether you have glaucoma or not. Otherwise, relax and enjoy. You are welcome for any queries.
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