"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Glaucoma: What's New and What Do I Need to Know?

Glaucoma is the leading reason for everlasting blindness worldwide, and the second leading reason for everlasting blindness within the United States. An estimated three million people within the United States suffer from glaucoma, a number expected to extend to six.3 million over the following 30 years. Although glaucoma is more common in adults over the age of 60, it may possibly develop at any age. Although there may be currently no cure for glaucoma, vision loss may be reduced or prevented if the disease is diagnosed and treated early.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a bunch of disorders that damage the attention's optic nerve, which carries visual signals from the retina to the brain, allowing us to see. In glaucoma, the optic nerve is step by step damaged, resulting in gradual lack of vision and everlasting blindness. Because the damage occurs slowly, it is commonly asymptomatic and goes unnoticed until it is simply too late. As it progresses, glaucoma can result in poor quality of life, increased risk of falls, decreased mobility and difficulty driving.

Glaucoma is commonly related to increased pressure contained in the eye. Healthy eyes produce a fluid generally known as aqueous humor Flows through and exits the eye.. In glaucoma, this process doesn’t work properly, leading to increased eye pressure and damage to the optic nerve. The two essential forms of glaucoma—open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma—are determined by the structure of the drainage path within the front of the attention (called the angle), through which aqueous humor flows.

In open-angle glaucoma, the angle appears open, but various aspects—including drainage problems—lead to impaired pressure regulation. This type of glaucoma can occur at each high and normal eye pressure (normal tension glaucoma). Both subtypes may cause vision loss and damage to the optic nerve.

In angle-closure glaucoma, the angle is narrowed, and the resulting structural problems can result in a sudden blockage of the drainage path, causing a sudden increase in eye pressure. This condition is known as acute angle closure. Although relatively rare, acute angle-closure glaucoma is an eye fixed emergency, and requires immediate treatment with medication, laser, or surgery, as it may possibly result in rapid and irreversible blindness. . Angle-closure glaucoma also exists in a chronic form where the rise in eye pressure occurs slowly, often without symptoms, but still requires diagnosis and treatment.

Who is prone to developing glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a posh disease, and while many associated genes have been identified, the underlying causes remain unclear.

However, several essential risk aspects have been identified, including:

  • Age 60 or older (40 for African Americans)
  • A primary-degree relative with glaucoma
  • African American or Hispanic race
  • East and Southeast Asian race (for angle-closure glaucoma)
  • A history of eye trauma or multiple eye surgeries
  • Chronic eye conditions, corresponding to diabetic eye disease
  • Extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • Use of steroid medications.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Most individuals with glaucoma, especially those with open-angle glaucoma or normal-tension glaucoma, can have few or no symptoms for years. It is maybe not surprising that an estimated 50 percent of glaucoma cases are undiagnosed, emphasizing that Regular eye examinations are requiredBegins on the age of 40. An eye care skilled will give you the chance to detect the symptoms of glaucoma before you do, and early intervention is vital to stopping the progression of the disease and vision loss.

Early symptoms of glaucoma include difficulty with low contrast and a few lack of peripheral vision. In more advanced stages, patients lose their visual field or blind spots, which eventually progress to central vision loss.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma causes symptoms of pain, blurred vision, and nausea, and is a medical emergency.

What treatment options can be found?

Although there may be currently no cure for glaucoma, prompt treatment will help slow or stop the progression of vision loss. Depending on many aspects, including your age and the sort and severity of your glaucoma, treatment may include medications and/or surgery to lower eye pressure.

Medications include pressure-reducing eye drops that work to extend fluid drainage or decrease fluid production. A laser is typically used to extend drainage (into the angle) or to make a hole within the iris, or coloured a part of the attention, in cases of angle-closure glaucoma. Different surgical techniques may be used to create another fluid drainage path in the attention, called filtering surgery and tube shunt surgery. Recent surgical innovations are called Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeryor MIGS, enhances fluid drainage using implantable microscopic-sized stents and shunts.

The way forward for glaucoma care

Research into glaucoma improves our understanding of the causes of the disease and develops more targeted and personalized treatments. There are subtypes of glaucoma, beyond the essential categories described here, that many consider will profit from different treatments. In the longer term, genetic testing may play a task in predicting a person's risk of developing glaucoma over time. Additionally, treatments to stop damage to nerve cells (of the retina and optic nerve), called neuroprotection, show promise. Researchers are studying recent drugs, drug delivery systems, and innovations to make surgery safer and simpler.

Early detection is vital.

If you’re concerned about glaucoma, and particularly if you could have a family history, one of the best plan of action is to see your eye doctor usually. Every adult should. Basic eye exam at age 40Even in case your vision is normal. Vision loss from glaucoma may be reduced with treatment, so early detection is vital.