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Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve. It is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. It usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises, damaging the optic nerve. Often there are no symptoms at first. Without treatment, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral, or side vision. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains.

A comprehensive eye exam can tell if you have glaucoma. People at risk should get eye exams at least every two years. They include

  • African Americans over age 40
  • People over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
  • People with a family history of glaucoma

There is no cure, but glaucoma can usually be controlled. Early treatment can help protect your eyes against vision loss. Treatments usually include prescription eyedrops and/or surgery.

NIH: National Eye Institute

Symptoms of Glaucoma

The following features are indicative of Glaucoma:
  • patchy blind spots in the central vision
  • severe headache
  • eye pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • blurred vision
  • halos around lights
  • eye redness
It is possible that Glaucoma shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Glaucoma

The following are the most common causes of Glaucoma:
  • buildup of aqueous humor
  • mutations in CYP1B1, LTBP2 genes
  • atherosclerosis

Risk Factors for Glaucoma

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Glaucoma:
  • high internal eye pressure
  • being over age 60
  • having a family history of the condition
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • sickle cell anemia
  • nearsightedness
  • eye injury or certain types of eye surgery
  • early estrogen deficiency
  • taking corticosteroid medications

Prevention of Glaucoma

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Glaucoma. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • get regular eye care after the age of 40
  • know your family's eye health history
  • exercise safely
  • take only prescribed eyedrops
  • wear eye protection

Occurrence of Glaucoma

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Glaucoma cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Glaucoma most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Glaucoma can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Glaucoma

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Glaucoma:
  • Tonometry: To measure the intraocular pressure
  • Visual field test: To check the areas of vision loss
  • Pachymetry: To measure the corneal thickness
  • Gonioscopy: To inspect the drainage angle

Doctor for Diagnosis of Glaucoma

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Glaucoma:
  • Ophthalmologist

Complications of Glaucoma if untreated

Yes, Glaucoma causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Glaucoma is left untreated:
  • loss vision

Procedures for Treatment of Glaucoma

The following procedures are used to treat Glaucoma:
  • Laser therapy: To open clogged channels in the trabecular meshwork
  • Filtering surgery: To treat glaucoma
  • Drainage tubes: To improve the drainage of fluid within the eye
  • Electrocautery: To eliminate the tissue from the trabecular meshwork

Self-care for Glaucoma

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Glaucoma:
  • Eat a healthy diet: Improves eye health
  • Exercise regularly: Lowers eye pressure in open-angle glaucoma
  • Limit your caffeine: Reduces your eye pressure

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Glaucoma

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Glaucoma:
  • Relaxation techniques: Helps in coping with stress and the disease
  • Herbal remedies: Bilberry and ginkgo are advertised as glaucoma remedies

Patient Support for Treatment of Glaucoma

The following actions may help Glaucoma patients:
  • Join support groups: Talking with other people with glaucoma can be very helpful

Time for Treatment of Glaucoma

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Glaucoma to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Glaucoma.

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