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Eye Care Info

GLAUCOMA

What Is Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that if left untreated causes irreversible blindness. The disease is usually associated with the increase in pressure within the eye normally associated with an eye fluid called the aqueous humor. Aqueous is a fluid that is continually produced within the eye to bathe and nourish the eye. In a normal eye, this fluid flows into and drains out at the same rate maintaining a pressure within the eye referred to as Intraocular Pressure (IOP). In glaucoma patients, there is an imbalance between the production and drainage of the fluid resulting into increase in IOP. The increased pressure may damage the optic nerve leading to loss of vision but if the pressure is unchecked it can lead to blindness.

Risk Factors
The following factor may increase the chance of glaucoma in a person: Age of above 40 years, diabetes, use of steroid, injury in the eye, far and nearsightedness among others

Causes of Glaucoma
It is still not clear to medical practitioners what exactly causes glaucoma. Studies show that the diseases is common in individuals who are over the age of 40 years with a family history of glaucoma. However, Glaucoma is not caused by; too much reading, poor light, Improper nutrition or wearing contact lens

Symptoms of Glaucoma
Patients with open-angle glaucoma and chronic angle-closure glaucoma, in general, have no symptoms early in the course of the disease Visual field loss (side vision loss) is not a symptom until late in the course of the disease Rarely patients with fluctuating levels of intra-ocular pressure may have haziness of vision and see haloes around lights, especially in the morning. Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are often extremely dramatic with the rapid onset of severe eye pain, headache, nausea and vomiting, and visual blurring. The eyes of patients with acute angle-closure glaucoma will appear red, and the pupil of the eye may be large and nonreactive to light and the cornea may appear cloudy to the naked eye.

Treatment of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is treated by medicines that lower the pressure in the eye. Most of these drugs come in form of eye drops. However, if the eye drops cant lower the pressure sufficiently, alternative therapies are available. These include laser treatment or even surgery

How Often Should one be Checked
The following are 's recommended intervals
Age 20-29: Individuals with a family history of glaucoma should have an eye examination every three to five years. Others should have an eye exam at least once during this period.
Age 30-39: Individuals with a family history of glaucoma should have an eye examination every two to four years. Others should have an eye exam at least twice during this period.
Age 40-64: Individuals should have an eye examination every two to four years.
Age 65 or older: Individuals should have an eye examination every one to two years.

Summary
· Glaucoma is an eye disease that can lead to blindness if not properly managed.
· Intraocular pressure is the only modifiable risk factor in the management of glaucoma.
· The cause of glaucoma is unknown but is common in those over 40 years.
· There is no cure for glaucoma but usually managed with the use of medicine
· You can live a normal active life when you have glaucoma as long as you take your medication and visit your doctor regularly

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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