Glaucoma is a condition in which a person faces damage of optical nerves greatly because of unusual high pressure on the nerves .It is a leading cause of adult blindness. Glaucoma can be faced by people of any age but risk factor is greatly increased in adulthood. Its symptoms are observed once the disease reaches an advanced stage and there is a no way out. Proper eye examination is a must to reduce the chances of it. If recognized early, vision loss could be prevented or at least slowed down.
The signs and symptoms differ on the basis of stage and type of glaucoma patient is suffering from. For Example;
- Patchy spots on outer sides of eye are observed, usually on both eyes.
- Tunnel (constricted central) vision in later stage
Acute angle-closure glaucoma:
- Intense headache leading to eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blur vision
- Uncomfortable halos vision closer to light
- Red eyes
- If left untreated, blindness is likely to occur.
Glaucoma is caused by optical nerve damage due to unbearable pressure on optical nerve. Greater eye pressure is due to high level of aqueous humor (fluid) that runs throughout the inside of eye. The internal fluid normally is drained out of the eye by tissue by trabecular meshwork. But when drainage system malfunctions or too much fluid is produced, the fluid cannot flow out of the eye. This increases the fluid level beyond the optimal and eventually increases the pressure on optical nerves.
Because chronic forms of glaucoma can destroy vision before any signs or symptoms are apparent, be aware of these risk factors:
- High intraocular pressure
- Black race, Asian or Hispanic
- Family history of glaucoma
- Non-communicable diseases
- Extreme nearsighted or farsighted
- Eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
- Corticosteroid medications, especially eye drops, for a long time
Self care steps and proper eye examination is specially required to detect glaucoma at an early stage which could prevent eye blindness or delay its arrival;
- Regular eye check-up
- Knowledge about the family history
- Regular, moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure
- Wear eye protections and use eye drops if prescribed by the doctor
Childhood glaucoma is a rare disorder that occurs from birth until teenage years. The incidence of childhood glaucoma is 1 in 10,000 to 68,000 live births. The global prevalence of glaucoma for people between 40-80 years of age is 3.54%. The rate is apparently high in Africa .In 2013, the number of people (aged 40–80 years) with glaucoma worldwide was estimated to be 64.3 million, increasing to 76.0 million in 2020 and 111.8 million in 2040.