Glaucoma - Risk of blindness

Also known as glaucoma, it is a group of eye disorders that can ultimately damage the optic nerve. If glaucoma is not treated, it can lead to blindness. Therefore, it is a dangerous disease and due to the long undetectable symptoms, regular check-ups are of great importance so that the disease is diagnosed at all. In many cases, significantly increased intraocular pressure leads to glaucoma. In addition, there is often a circulatory disorder of the optic nerve. However, this does not have to be the reason, since glaucoma can also develop with completely normal intraocular pressure. However, severe short-sightedness or illnesses that have occurred in the family can be another sign. The doctor can reflect the back of the eye through the pupil and can thus assess the optic nerve head. In this way, glaucoma can be detected and treated in good time. This is a fairly common eye condition.

Causes of glaucoma


Glaucoma or glaucoma actually refers to a whole group of diseases, which also have different underlying causes. Increased intraocular pressure in connection with a circulatory disorder of the optic nerve is often the reason for the disease. Glaucoma is so dangerous because there is usually a healthy eye and an affected eye, and because the affected eye is often balanced by the healthy one. Blindness would be a possible consequence of this disease. Ophthalmologists distinguish between two different forms of glaucoma. The forms are divided into primary and secondary. In the primary forms, the problem is that it occurs more spontaneously and lacks specific causes. However, the secondary forms are forms that can be attributed to other eye diseases or general diseases. In addition, the likelihood of glaucoma increases with age. From the age of 40, the risk of developing glaucoma increases and the risk is also increased in cases in close relatives. It is not yet possible to say exactly what causes glaucoma and how the disease develops. However, it is believed to be related to the condition of the chamber angle in the eye. The aqueous humor drains through this, which in turn nourishes the eye lens and cornea. This aqueous humor then builds up the intraocular pressure that is responsible for many forms of glaucoma. When the chamber angle is open, the glaucoma is called open-angle or open-angle glaucoma. However, there is also the possibility that the chamber angle is displaced or too narrow. Then there is talk of narrow-angle or angle-closure glaucoma. The last two variants occur less frequently, but then often acutely and must be classified as an emergency. These variants are referred to as primary glaucoma. But there are also secondary glaucomas. Glaucoma usually develops together with other eye diseases. It is not uncommon for injuries to cause the disease, for example if blood residues block the drainage path of the aqueous humor, glaucoma can be caused. Very severe short-sightedness or long-sightedness can also promote glaucoma. When diabetes causes new blood vessels to form, glaucoma can result. In addition, various medications, including cortisone, promote eye disease. This shows that there are numerous possible causes of glaucoma and, similar to cataracts, the causes cannot yet be fully determined because many unknown factors still play a role.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma can be classified as so dangerous precisely because of the lack of symptoms, since nothing is noticed about it for a long time. By the time symptoms appear, the disease is usually well advanced. A doctor can then only prevent further progression, and the damage caused by glaucoma can no longer be reversed. It then begins with a visual disturbance in which the field of vision is narrowed, i.e. narrowed. Dropouts in the center of the gaze are also possible. Immediate medical treatment is then very important, otherwise complete loss of sight can occur. However, there is also the possibility of an acute glaucoma attack in primary glaucoma. In such an attack, the eye pressure rises extremely and the eye, and usually the whole head, hurts a lot. The cornea is hard and in many cases those affected perceive veils or rainbow-like rings in front of the eye. There is often nausea and extreme discomfort. If you have such symptoms, you must see a doctor immediately, otherwise blindness may result. There are various medications, such as antidepressants, that can trigger an acute attack of glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma is also an insidious disease and people are usually being treated for another eye condition, which is when the glaucoma is discovered. Since people with type I or II diabetes are more frequently affected, regular examinations should be carried out in order to detect glaucoma disease in good time.

treatment options for the disease

Glaucoma is initially treated with medication, usually eye drops . However, this treatment is then used for the rest of life, so it is not a short-term treatment. In the case of an acute attack of glaucoma, action must be taken very quickly and the intraocular pressure must be lowered as quickly as possible. This is done with medication that can be supplemented with eye drops. If the medication does not bring the desired result, an operation must be carried out. As a rule, the drainage of the aqueous humor is to be improved and, depending on the intervention and the doctor, a laser or scalpel is used. Secondary glaucoma has a slightly more complex treatment due to the other eye condition that needs to be treated first. If glaucoma is caught early enough, the damage that has already been done may not be reversible, but the progression of the disease can be stopped.

Important information about glaucoma

Glaucoma can therefore occur in people of any age and is usually insidious. Regular check-ups with the doctor can identify the disease early enough and then treatment is also possible. Without treatment, glaucoma causes blindness, whether it is the primary or the secondary variant. A doctor should therefore be consulted immediately if the field of vision is restricted. Regular check-ups are very important, especially after the age of 40 . Glaucoma is a dangerous eye disease that is often associated with increased intraocular pressure and is responsible for numerous cases of blindness worldwide. Eye drops or similar drugs can fight the disease. However, sometimes surgery is necessary, and it all depends on the type of glaucoma and when the disease was discovered.

(Image source: Wikipedia Snoop)

Viet Trinh

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