Facts on glaucoma; silent thief of vision.

  1. Glaucoma affects the eyes and can result from damage to the nerve (optic nerve) which can result in vision loss or impairment.
  2. The optic nerve can be damaged from increased pressure of the eye.
  3. High blood pressure can lead to increased eye pressure that can damage optic nerve.
  4. Not all raised eye pressure can result in glaucoma in everyone. Some persons are able to tolerate higher pressures than others.
  5. Glaucoma can still occur when the eye pressure is normal i.e without increased eye pressure, glaucoma can still occur.
  6. There are two major types of glaucoma: a. Angle-closure glaucoma
    b. Open-angle glaucoma. This has a subtype of low tension or normal tension glaucoma.
  7. Certain persons are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma and includes: those with a family history, blacks above 40years of age, people with other medical conditions like diabetes, people who take steroid medications (commonly prednisolone) and people who have suffered trauma to the eyes.
  8. People with glaucoma will complain of a painless, gradual loss of vision usually starting from the sides and progress to the center with complete loss of vision especially for the open angle type. Others may complain of severe pain, nausea, red eyes and blurred vision especially in the angle closure glaucoma type.
  9. Some children are born with a defect in the eye that can cause glaucoma. Such children may have hazy eyes.
  10. Glaucoma has no cure. Lost vision cannot be restored. Without treatment it can cause total and irreversible blindness within a few years.
  11. Early diagnosis is important. Most people with glaucoma do not have early symptoms. Early diagnosis with immediate commencement of treatment can delay the progression of the disease.
  12. Prompt surgery for children with glaucoma is recommended to having good vision because medicines available can cause serious side effects.
  13. Your role is to ensure you take your medications if you have been diagnosed of glaucoma. You can also encourage other family members to have a comprehensive eye check. Regularly checking your eyes every 1 to 2 years for a complete eye exam is advised