Glaucoma is an eye disease for which early diagnosis and treatment are very important, as it can progress to complete loss of vision. Therefore, a consultation with your doctor, noticing the first symptoms of the disease, is the most important task.
Glaucoma is usually treated with medications that reduce the pressure inside the eye, and only if they do not work, it is treated surgically, which improves the circulation of intraocular fluid. When doing this operation, most patients subsequently do not need any additional treatment, since the disease is stopped.
What are the causes of glaucoma?
Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve. Scientists are still arguing about the real cause of the disease. Since the exact cause of glaucoma is unknown, it cannot be cured one hundred percent. However, you can significantly slow down the progression of the disease and not lose sight. If a person is diagnosed with glaucoma, the doctor’s recommendations must be followed. The untreated disease causes irreversible blindness.
Symptoms of glaucoma
There are primary or open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. It often happens that at first glaucoma develops in only one eye. Since visual acuity persists, and the other eye compensates for impaired functions, a person does not experience discomfort, which indicates the need to consult a doctor.
The most common symptoms are:
• Blurred vision
• Feeling of heaviness in the eye or eyebrows
• Eye fatigue, sometimes stinging sensation in eyes
However, these complaints are also common among people who use a computer every day, read a lot. People usually do not pay much attention to these signs, believing that their eyes are tired after work. However, when a person feels a deterioration in vision, irreversible changes have already begun. Often many fibers of the optic nerves are already lost, and therefore it is difficult to maintain vision. This is because it is the optic nerve that transmits the information received by the eye to the brain. If the nerve is damaged, it can no longer fulfill its function and a person complains of visual impairment, most often a narrowing of the field of vision.
Angle-closure glaucoma shows other symptoms. Usually, it begins with an acute attack, when the pressure inside the eye rises, the eye turns red, the pupil is enlarged. There is a feeling of heaviness or severe pain in the eyebrows and forehead, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and heart problems are possible.
How to diagnose the disease timely?
Reaching the age of 40, an ophthalmologist needs to be visited once a year!
The most important is the measurement of intraocular pressure, which should be between 10- and 21-mm Hg. The measurement of intraocular pressure by modern methods no longer causes discomfort to the patient. Modern technologies also allow you to measure the fibers of the optic nerves and compare their condition every year, timely detecting the changes caused by glaucoma. It is important to regularly monitor eye pressure so that it can be observed in dynamics. It is assumed that each person may have their rate of pressure, but there are no tests to determine it. The only way to detect glaucoma timely is the examination by an ophthalmologist. It includes not only measuring pressure but also checking visual acuity, biomicroscopy, a thorough examination of the fundus, and determining the field of vision using computer perimetry. During the examination, a liquid is instilled into the eye, which dilates the pupil of the eye so that the optic nerve can be well examined. Glaucoma is most often indicated by the narrowed and serrated edge of the optic nerve, it’s fading, changes in the blood vessels of the optic nerve.
Increased risk of glaucoma
• For elderly people. Over the age of 60, glaucoma affects an average of 4.2% of the population, and 1.5% between the ages of 40 and 49.
• Those who have glaucoma in their families. If parents or other close relatives suffer from this disease, it is necessary to visit an eye doctor once a year from the age of 35 for prevention purposes.
• Patients with increased intraocular pressure.
• People who have experienced other eye diseases or injuries. The latter increases the risk of developing glaucoma in 2-10% of cases.
• People with a high degree of myopia are at risk of developing open-angle glaucoma, while people with a high degree of hyperopia are at risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma.
• People with low blood pressure. This is because these people often complain about the freezing of their hands and feet, which indicates circulatory problems. Accordingly, doctors allow circulatory disorders throughout the body, including the eyes.
• Diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol are also risk factors for glaucoma.