What you Need to Know About Glaucoma
Glaucoma may be the second most common cause of blindness around the world, but in the United States, it’s still a relatively unknown condition.
Perhaps that isn’t surprising when you consider that over half of the four million Americans that suffer from the condition aren’t even aware of it.
That’s because open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the condition, is often symptomless for a number of years. It’s one of the reasons why in the medical profession it has the nickname of the ‘vision stealer’.
To help make sure all seniors in home care in Mainline PA are aware of the risks associated with the condition, we’ve created a full glaucoma run down for you, below:
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that are caused by a buildup of pressure within the eyes. Normally affecting both eyes, the conditions relate to the blocking of the drainage channels, where any fluid in the eyes usually disperses. Unfortunately, once these channels begin to become blocked, it causes the fluid in the eyes to build up. This then puts pressure on the back of the eye where it joins the optic nerve. As time passes, the pressure causes the fibers around the nerve to break down, damaging the signals that the retina is able to send to the brain.
Who Does it Affect?
At present, there are no lifestyle factors that researchers have been able to link to the condition. Instead, age, ethnicity, & medical history are the three main determining factors as to how likely, or unlikely, you are to develop glaucoma.
In the United States, glaucoma is eight times more likely to develop in African Americans or Hispanics than it is Caucasians. Why? Researchers are still unsure, but they do think it’s partly to do with gene mutation.
What are the Symptoms?
Peripheral vision loss is the first tell-tale sign that you may be suffering from glaucoma, but by the time that develops, you may have been living with the condition for a number of years.
Other variations of the condition, such as closed-angle glaucoma, can be extremely painful due to a sudden buildup of pressure on the eye. Headaches and bloodshot eyes are just two symptoms associated with closed-angle glaucoma.
Are There any Treatments?
Yes. While any damage caused by glaucoma can’t be reversed, eye drops can help to dramatically slow the spread of the condition by clearing blockages and reducing the amount of fluid that the eye produces.