Glaucoma refers to an eye disease that normally results from high pressure in the eye, which over time damages the optic nerve. This may cause vision loss and possibly result in irreversible blindness. There are two main types of glaucoma; closed-angled and open-angled glaucoma.
Why Is Glaucoma Awareness Important?
According to medical statistics, glaucoma is responsible for more than three million out of the thirty-nine million blind people in the world. In Singapore, about 3% of citizens over fifty years have glaucoma, with the percentage increasing with age. With the problem of glaucoma continuing to be a global problem, especially in Asian countries, awareness of this eye condition is been created. Because the condition is mostly symptom-free, knowing the risk factors for glaucoma is essential. Click on https://plano.co/eye-health/other-eye-conditions/open-angle-glaucoma/ to get more info on the same.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
These are some of the proven risk factors for glaucoma. However, not having any of these risk factors does not completely rule out your chances of developing glaucoma.
Closed-angle glaucoma is highly prevalent in Asians, particularly the Chinese, than Caucasians. On the other hand, closed-angled glaucoma is more prevalent among African-Caribbean descent.
The risk of developing glaucoma also gets higher with aging. More than 10% of the population above 70 years has glaucoma in Singapore compared to 3% of the population with 50 years and above.
Pre-existing medical conditions
High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes are health issues predisposing you to glaucoma.
If a person in your family lineage has in the past had glaucoma, there is a high possibility you can get the condition due to genetic lineage.
Conditions that increase eye pressure
Conditions such as eye injury or chronic inflammation can increase eye increased pressure in the eye, resulting in glaucoma. Prolonged use of specific medications such as corticosteroids can also increase eye pressure.
When Should You Visit the Doctor?
In case of any abnormalities or changes in your eye, it is best to see a doctor, most preferably an ophthalmologist. However, because glaucoma does not often come with visible symptoms, you should consider going for eye checkups annually after 50. However, you possess any of the risk factors mentioned above; eye screening should begin at the age of 40. The Ophthalmologist will guide you on how regularly you should go for follow-ups. If you experience any of these symptoms mentioned below, you should visit your doctor immediately.
- Eye pain accompanied by headaches, vomiting, or nausea
- Seeing halos or colored rings around lights
- Having a sudden blurred vision or sight disturbances
- Sudden eye redness and severe eye pain
Can Glaucoma Be Treated
Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma. However, the condition can be kept under control, slowing or even stopping the vision loss. In case you have lost any sight already, it will not be restored, and you will need lifelong treatment to keep glaucoma in control. The doctor can recommend medication, laser, or surgery to maintain the eye pressure in control.
Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can result in irreversible blindness. While you now know if you are at the risk of glaucoma or not, the best way of minimizing chances of vision loss is through early detention because early glaucoma is often asymptomatic. Also, visit the doctor immediately if you experience any worrying eye or sight changes.