What you Need to Know About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that are the second most common cause of blindness throughout the world. Currently, up to four million people in the United States suffer from the condition, which occurs as a result of a buildup of fluid in the eye.

Who’s Most Likely to get it?

Although there isn’t currently any concrete evidence to back up their claims, researchers believe that genes play a part in the likelihood of someone developing the condition.

Studies into lifestyle factors, such as smoking or drinking, have so far proved inconclusive in their link to glaucoma.

African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics are up to five times more likely to suffer from glaucoma than Caucasians, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

The same study revealed that age is also a deciding factor, with up to eight percent of those over the age of 70 in the United States estimated to have the condition compared to just two percent of those under the age of 40. For that reason alone, it is well worth for seniors in home care in Tacoma WA to visit their local opticians for a checkup.

Why Does it Occur?

The eye actually works in the same way as a small water feature in the sense that it continually pumps fluid around the eye. This is done to help nourish the surrounding tissue and to put a certain amount of pressure on the eye to help it keep its shape.

In much the way that a water feature sometimes becomes blocked, so does the eye. A drainage area known as the trabecular meshwork is suddenly unable to drain the required amount of fluid in the appropriate time, leading to an excess buildup of liquid. This liquid then exerts more pressure on the eye than is needed, damaging the eye’s optic nerve and causing long-lasting damage in the process.

What are the Symptoms?

The type of symptoms associated with condition varies widely depending on the type of glaucoma a person has.

Open-angle glaucoma, by far and away the most common form of the disease, is painless and difficult to detect for a number of years. It starts by affecting a person’s peripheral vision, before gradually moving to the center of the eye.

Closed-angle glaucoma, however, is much more noticeable due to blood shot eyes and severe headaches. As this form of the condition occurs when the iris and trabecular meshwork meet by accident, it can result in a complete blockage, putting extreme pressure on the optic nerve.

How can I Treat it?

Eye drops are commonly used to treat the condition, as they can help to reduce the eye’s blockages and prevent the eyes from producing as much fluid.

Posted In: Senior Care