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Here’s Why You Need To Know About Glaucoma As World Glaucoma Week Is Here

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Introduction – What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that affects and damages the eye’s optic nerve. The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibres that carry visual messages. We have one optic nerve connecting the back of each eye (your retina) to the brain. Glaucoma starts to damage the optic nerve and it can be asymptomatic in early stages. Ifleft undiagnosed and untreated,vision may worsen with each passing day since its diagnosis. It is often linked to a buildup of pressure and strain inside the eyes.  

This increased pressure in your eyes is often referred to as raised intraocular pressure or tension(IOP/IOT). It can damage your optic nerve that sends images to your brain. The intensity of this damage determines whether the patient will go into a total loss of vision or permanent blindness.


Causes Of Glaucoma

Our eyes have a fluid called aqueous humour in them that flows out through a mesh-like channel. If somehow this channel is blocked or the eye starts producing more fluid, the fluid builds up. This build-up often presents as pain in the eyes. Other less common causes of glaucoma  include-

Any blunt or chemical injury to your eye, 

Severe eye infection 

 Inflammatory condition.

World Glaucoma Week (10-16 March 2024) is an opportunity to raise awareness about this disease. In most cases, vision loss is gradual and starts with the loss of peripheral vision. Its slow progression means it can remain asymptomatic until significant damage has been done to the optic nerve.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Can glaucoma be cured?

The damage that has already been caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed, but regular check-ups and glaucoma treatments can help slow and reduce the risk of complete vision loss. Glaucoma is often treated by lowering eye pressure.

What are the early signs of glaucoma developing?

Some of the early glaucoma symptoms are-

  • Severe throbbing eye pain
  • Headache
  • Eye redness
  • Blurry or foggy vision
  • Halos around lights  
  • Dilated pupils of the affected eye
  • Nausea

Glaucoma is not a benign disorder, and if left untreated can lead to permanent vision loss. The higher the pressure, the greater the risk of damaging the optic nerve, reporting the symptoms at an early stage is very helpful to prevent disease progression.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

What happens when you have glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of vision loss in the world. If left untreated, glaucoma may cause you to lose your eyesight forever. Eye drops, laser treatments and surgeries may help slow the progress of glaucoma.

Who is at risk of Glaucoma?

  • Elderly people above the age of 40
  • Having a family history of glaucoma
  • Certain medical conditions like –diabetes, heart disease, hypertension
  • People on certain medications for long e.g. corticosteroids
  • Have farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Injury to an eye
  • High intraocular tension

Also Read: Is a Stye Contagious? Unraveling the Truth Behind Eye Infections

Conclusion:

Most people with glaucoma have no earlier pain or strong symptoms. Visiting your ophthalmologist regularly for routine eye checkups can help in early detection and prompt management of glaucoma. This can greatly minimise the sight-threatening consequences.  

Ref

1.https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-glaucoma#causes

2.https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/glaucoma

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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