Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve sends visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. Damage to the optic nerve is often associated with high pressure in your eye. But glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure. Glaucoma can occur at any age, but is more common in older adults. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60. Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in your vision until the condition is in a later stage. It is important to have regular eye exams, including measurements of your eye pressure. Vision loss can be slowed or prevented if glaucoma is detected early. If you have glaucoma, you will need treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.
Why is it happening?
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged. As this nerve gradually deteriorates, blind spots form in your vision. This nerve damage is often associated with increased pressure in the eye.
High eye pressure is caused by a buildup of fluid that flows into the eye. This fluid is also called aqueous humor. It is usually emptied from a tissue located at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. This tissue is also called trabecular meshwork. The cornea is important for vision because it allows light to pass through into the eye. Eye pressure can increase if the eye produces too much fluid or if the drainage system is not working properly. Risk Factors Glaucoma can affect vision before you notice symptoms. Therefore, keep these risk factors in mind:
* High intraocular pressure, also called intraocular pressure
*Above 55 years
* Black, Asian or Hispanic heritage
*Family history of glaucoma
* Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure and sickle cell anemia
*Corneas that are thin in the middle *Eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
* Long-term use of corticosteroids, especially eye drops, how do we prevent this?
These steps can help detect and manage glaucoma in its early stages. This can help prevent vision loss or slow its progression. Get regular eye exams: Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect glaucoma in its early stages, before significant damage occurs. As a general rule, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends getting a comprehensive eye exam every 5 to 10 years if you’re under age 40; every 2 to 4 years if you are 40 to 54 years old; every 1 to 3 years if you are 55 to 64 years old; and every 1 to 2 years if you are over 65 years old. If you are at risk for glaucoma, you should be checked more often.
* Know your family’s eye health history: Glaucoma often runs in families. If you are at high risk, you may need more frequent checkups.
*Use eye protection: Severe eye injuries can lead to glaucoma. Wear eye protection when using power tools or playing sports. *Take prescription eye drops regularly: Glaucoma eye drops can significantly reduce the risk of high eye pressure progressing to glaucoma. Use eye drops as recommended by your healthcare provider, even if you have no symptoms.