Glaucoma is not one single medical condition, although many people believe it is. Another way to say the same thing, according to the National Eye Institute, is that glaucoma is a multiple disease that is capable of damaging the optic nerve. It is capable of causing total or partial vision loss if it is not treated. If it is diagnosed early enough and treated, then loss of vision can be prevented from happening. More information concerning this condition follows:
Pressure building inside the eye is what most medical experts coincide with glaucoma. The optic nerve in the eyes is damaged by the high intraocular pressure. Images are transmitted to the brain by the optic nerve so it is particularly bad to have the optic nerve damaged. Certain common causes allow or encourage pressure to build in the eyes, such as physical injury, chemical injury, eye surgery or even eye infections. Proper circulation of the eyes’ fluid could be a factor in any of these conditions.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation recently published figures showing that African Americans have 15 times more risk in developing glaucoma than Caucasians. Russians, Scandinavians, Hispanic and Irish also have a greater likelihood of contracting this eye condition. Also, those who have a family history of glaucoma may have a greater likelihood of developing the condition. Likewise, those with diabetes or poor vision can also develop glaucoma at a greater rate than the general public.
People in general may show different symptoms of glaucoma. Sometimes vision loss is the first symptom some people have. That is the reason it is important to have regular checkups every two years, or sooner if you are at higher risk. Even so, the common symptoms of this condition are side vision or peripheral vision loss, vomiting, eye pain, hazy tunnel vision, red eyes and seeing a halo around lights such as street lights.
Treatment after Diagnosis
Consult an ophthalmologist immediately if you suspect you have a problem such as glaucoma. He or she will take the necessary tests to make a diagnosis, such as the pressure of the eye fluid and the appearance of the optic nerve, and then begin treatment which may include drops or laser surgery. If the eye pressure does not immediately respond to the prescription eye drops or laser surgery, physical surgery may be necessary. The treatments, of course, have the common goal of halting any further vision loss.
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, as many as 2.2 million Americans suffer from glaucoma. This disease has no cure available at this time, so vision loss can be halted only by prompt treatment.
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