The importance of this article is to let people know that early symptoms of glaucoma is usually hard to detect. Because of this, it is wise to have eyes checked for glaucoma periodically. Vision loss from glaucoma is permanent, but can usually be prevented with early detection and treatment.
Regular eye examinations are important, especially for persons over the age of 35 or in high risk groups. You may ask, what are high risk groups? Glaucoma is more common in persons who are severely near sighted, persons who have a family history of this condition, diabetics and blacks. Because the symptoms of early glaucoma is so unnoticeable, it is important to get a diagnosis.
Early symptoms of the most common type of glaucoma starts out when the side vision or what is known as peripheral vision is affected. It starts out with the top of the eye, goes on to the sides, and finally the bottom parts of the eye. There is a gradual loss of vision in these areas and later the central vision is decreased. Other symptoms can be mild headaches, and difficulty with night vision.
According to the Valley Eye Center in Van Nuys, California, glaucoma is caused by an increase in the fluid pressure in the eye. The front part of the eye contains a clear, nourishing fluid called the aqueous which constantly circulates through the eye. In normal situations, this fluid leaves the eye through a drainage system and returns to the blood stream.
Glaucoma occurs from an overproduction of fluid, or when the drainage system becomes blocked, causing fluid pressure to increase. The high pressure causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss.
The good news is that glaucoma can be treated when detected early. When it is controlled, then the vision is preserved. The treatment is a combination of eye drops, medication, laser treatment and conventional surgery. The purpose of these treatments is to lower the pressure inside the eye to prevent damage to the optic nerve.
The most common treatment is eye drops and pills. When medication and eye drops fail to control glaucoma, this is when alternative methods are used such as laser treatment or surgery.
Once a person is aware that he/she has glaucoma, it is important to keep it under control by monitoring it frequently. It is suggested that a person with glaucoma should be examined every three to four months for the rest of their lives.
Source: Valley Eye Center, Surgical Medical Group in Van Nuys, California