What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is acknowledged as one of the most treacherous eye diseases. Typically there are no early warning symptoms of Glaucoma. It could develop gradually, while you don’t notice anything about it. Once it has been discovered, the sight damages, which it had caused, are irreversible. That is why, this disease is also called “the secret thief of sight”.
Glaucoma damages progressively the retina and the optic nerve, which leads to visual field loss and eventually to blindness. Raised intra-ocular pressure (more than 22 mmHg) is a significant risk factor.
Types of Glaucoma
The Glaucoma disease is divided into two major types:
1.) open-angle Glaucoma - 90% of all Glaucoma cases are open-angele Glaukoma.
2.) closed-angle Glaucoma - just 9% of the Glaucoma diseases belong to the group of closed-angle Glaukoma.
1.) Symptoms by open-angle Glaucoma:
- sight deficiency;
- gradually decreasing side vision;
- blurred vision and seeing halos by lights;
- reduced clarity of colors;
2.) Symptoms by closed-angle Glaucoma:
- rapid loss of vision;
- acute eye- and headache;
- nausea and vomiting;
If Glaucoma is detected in its early phase, it is possible to control its development or to slow it progression. All treatment methods cannot cure Glaucoma but can bring the intraocular pressure under control.
There are generally two ways of treatment:
1.) medication by eye drops
2.) surgery: laser surgery or conventional surgery
Golden rule by Glaucoma patients
Once Glaucoma has been discovered, it is indispensable that patients remain persistent in the treatment and follow strictly the prescriptions of the ophthalmologist. Failure to do this will lead to loss of the most precious visual perception.
People with high risk of Glaucoma
- If you have a family member with Glaucoma, the chance that you are affected by open-angle Glaucoma is higher;
- People with African origin are 6 times more at risk for open-angle Glaucoma;
- Some East Asian groups are highly likely to develop closed-angle Glaucoma due to shallower anterior chamber depth;
- Older people have usually thinner corneal thickness and are more open to Glaucoma;
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