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What is Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, it is a collective name to a group of eye disease that effects your optic nerve. It is usually associated with increase eye pressure.
You cannot self detect Glaucoma, the loss of site is gradual and often a large amount of your peripheral vision is lost before you notice you have an issue with your vision.
Early detection and Glaucoma Treatment is vital as unfortunately the damage is irreversible.
There are arrange of treatments to prevent further damage to your optic nerve and treat manage existing symptoms, but the damage cannot be repaired so it is Vital to catch Glaucoma disease early.
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The Types and Causes of Glaucoma
Your eye has a system that helps drain fluids and control pressure inside the eyeball. Occasionally these cease to work correctly and the balance of fluids can cause pressure and damage to the optic nerve.
The underlying cause of the optic nerve damage is classified by doctors and eye specialists in one of three ways
- Open-Angle Glaucoma
This is the most common, and also the hardest to self detect. Your Vision impairment is gradual and damaging before most people become aware there is an issue
- Closed-Angle Glaucoma
Less common, this can be come on suddenly, be painful with an immediate loss of vision and often requires emergency treatment
- Normal-tension glaucoma
Rarer than Open or Angle, optic nerve damage is caused although eye pressure is normal
Who is at risk of Glaucoma?
Although it can can occur at any age. It tends to develop as we age
- 1 in 50 Australians will suffer from Glaucoma in their lifetime
- 5 in 40 Australians aged 80 + years will also develop a form of glaucoma
- It is hereditary and immediate relatives of those that suffer from glaucoma can have 10 times the risk of developing the disease
- It is thought that approximately half the people suffering with glaucoma remain unaware they have the disease
What are Glaucoma Symptoms?
Unfortunately there are not many symptoms when glaucoma develops, and to prevent vision loss it needs to be diagnosed in the early stages.
Unless you have closed-angle glaucoma, there will be no pain and the damage is irreversible – do not risk vision loss – seek an eye specialist if you suspect an issue
Some indicators of Glaucoma can be
- Patchy blind spots in your side or central vision.
- Tunnel vision in advanced stages
- Severe headache
- Blurry vision
- Halos around light
- Red eyes
What is the treatment for Glaucoma
The damage caused by glaucoma cannot be undone, however there some treatments and procedures that stop glaucoma from progressing.
Treatment for glaucoma can include:
- eye drops.
Helping to decrease the pressure in the eye that is causing damage.
- Oral medications can also be used if drops do not lower your eye pressure significantly.
- Surgery options are also available, but usually only after other methods have been found fail and works well for many patients