What Is Glaucoma?

It’s a boon for all of us that we can see the colorful world, different colors of life but what if our vision dies away and we are left with darkness in front of us forever?

When it comes to blindness diseases, GLAUCOMA comes next to cataracts, and is the leading cause of blindness in Africans and Americans. It is a group of eye diseases that damages optic nerve and causes loss of sight forever. It begins with damage to peripheral vision but if left untreated, leads to diminished central vision. Actual reason behind Glaucoma is elevation in pressure inside the eye caused by a build up of excess fluid. Known as, “Sneak thief of sight”, it does not show any noticeable symptoms, and for the same reason, most of the people are not aware of being victims of Glaucoma.

Although it does not have initial symptoms, but as it progresses, it shows symptoms like appearance of tiny blind spots at the edge of the visual field, colored halos around lights, blurred vision, and adjustment problems on entering a dark room.

Now, depending upon how fast it shows its symptoms upon growth, it is mainly of two types:
1) Open angle Glaucoma, also known as chronic Glaucoma is the most common one, and is slow to develop.

2) Angle closure Glaucoma or acute Glaucoma shows sudden symptoms like blurred vision, nausea, headaches, haloes around bright lights.

Others are normal tension, congenital, childhood, and secondary Glaucoma.
Now we know what Glaucoma is, what are its effects on our vision, now its turn for some safety measures and treatment.

glaucome-normal-visionChances of Glaucoma raises with age that means aged people are at more risk. Statistics shows that there are 3% chances of cases with age 65-80, and it increases to 14% for people of age 80 years or more. Those persons who use topical steroid (prednisone or cortisone) medication, those with previous injury are more prone to Glaucoma. Those with abnormally high intraocular pressure or those with thinner corneal thickness, myopia should be aware of Glaucoma as they are at a more risk than others. Even having a family history of Glaucoma can put a person in danger of Glaucoma.

So people with above factors should be more careful regarding this evil disease as it is like something dwelling inside us without letting us know and comes face to face only when damage has been done.
Once Glaucoma damages the vision, it cannot be regained.

So it cannot be cured but can be treated with early detection, which is possible only when we make our self aware, go for regular eye check ups which also include pressure check for Glaucoma. So if detected early, and if one gets appropriate treatment, he/she can prevent severe damage to vision and can lead a satisfied life.

Now, talking about treatment, nearly all Glaucoma can be treated successfully with topical medications (applied directly to eyes such as eye drops ore eye ointments) or oral medications.

Even surgery is done (both laser and conventional) but this method is temporary solution to a problem which can leave permanent after effects if left untreated.

Therefore, if one makes sure he is aware, go for regular check ups, he can live a colorful life fore ever.

However, if one plays carelessness, then even he/she should not leave hope as one can treat it at that stage and prevent further damage.

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless we stop taking turns”

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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