Glaucoma is a condition of the eyes that occurs when the optic nerve progressively gets worse. It is often caused when there is a pressure buildup inside of the eye. This is called intraocular pressure, and affects the optic nerve so that images are not properly transferred to the brain. Glaucoma is hereditary in most cases, and many people may not know they have the condition until after the age of 40. If glaucoma is not treated, it can lead to complete blindness.
Types of Glaucoma
The two types of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type. The eyes look normal, but the fluid in the eye doesn’t circulate well or drain properly through the trabecular meshwork of the eye. In angle-closure glaucoma, there is a sudden accumulation of eye pressure. There is poor eye drainage in between the cornea and iris because the passage is too narrow.
Risk Factors and Symptoms
Although glaucoma most occurs in people age 40 and over, it can develop in younger people, even infants. People of African American descent develop glaucoma more frequently than any other ethnic group, and tend to get the condition at an earlier age, which results in more severe vision loss. People of Russian, Hispanic or Japanese descent also have a high risk of glaucoma.
Individuals who already have poor vision are more likely to develop glaucoma, as well as people with diabetes. Those who regularly take steroid medicines like prednisone may get glaucoma after prolonged use of the medication.
Most people don’t see any symptoms of glaucoma during its early stages. However, the first sign of the condition is reduced or loss of peripheral vision. Sudden pain in the eyes, blurred vision, headache, hazy eyes (mostly in infants) and nausea are also glaucoma symptoms.
Glaucoma Prevention and Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent glaucoma; however, if the condition is detected in the early stages, it can be properly treated and controlled. Eye drops work well to manage glaucoma to reduce the buildup of fluid in the eye and prompt the fluid to flow at a normal pace. Laser surgery is also an effective glaucoma treatment to increase the rate at which fluid flows through the eye.
For more information on how to treat glaucoma, refer to this Glaucoma Singapore site.
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