Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve (the bundle of nerve fibers that transmits information from the eye to the brain), resulting in vision loss and possibly blindness. Optic nerve damage is most commonly associated with high eye pressure; however, it can occur with normal or even lower than normal eye pressure.
People with a family history of glaucoma, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar levels may be at a higher risk of developing the disease. Adjusting to life with glaucoma can be difficult, as it is with any illness or medical condition. Glaucoma, on the other hand, does not have to take over your life. As with any medical diagnosis, if you get diagnosed with glaucoma, it may raise several concerns.
In this article, you will get answers you seek to questions in your mind regarding glaucoma and your overall eyesight.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a broad term that encompasses a range of eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve. It is the most common type of optic nerve damage that results in vision loss. In most cases, fluid accumulates in the front of the eye. This extra fluid puts pressure on the eyes, gradually causing optic nerve damage. It is known as intraocular pressure (IOP), also known as eye pressure. Some people with normal eye pressure develop glaucoma. Glaucoma can cause severe and lasting loss of vision and blindness if left unchecked or poorly controlled.
Glaucoma is a common age-related eye condition. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, after cataracts. Glaucoma can affect people of all races and genders, but the risk increases as one get older. African Americans and Latinos are much more likely than other races to develop glaucoma, and they catch the disease at a younger age. Asian and Inuit populations are also predisposed to a type of glaucoma known as angle-closure glaucoma. People who have diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.
Now let’s get to the questions you may have on glaucoma and get some answers to them.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) About Glaucoma
You will have achieved your goal when you recognize that the more people are aware of glaucoma, the better equipped they will be to find treatment for this condition. As a result, with the answers to frequently asked questions provided below, you can find the assistance you require to preserve your vision.
- How common is glaucoma?
Glaucoma remains a common eye problem, which affects people over a certain age. Studies suggest that over three million Americans get diagnosed with glaucoma. On the global scale, glaucoma finds itself second, after cataract, to be the leading cause of blindness or vision loss.
- Who might get glaucoma?
Glaucoma can affect people of all races and genders, but the risk rises with age. African Americans and Latinos remain far more likely than other races to develop glaucoma, and they can acquire it sooner than others. Angle-closure glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that affects Asian and Inuit populations. People with diabetes are twice as likely as non-diabetics to develop glaucoma.
- What are the different types of glaucoma?
There are two main types of glaucoma – open-angle and closed-angle – that affect most people. However, other types of glaucoma include normal-tension glaucoma and congenital glaucoma. The causes may differ, and therefore the treatment method may vary as well.
Read more: What Is Glaucoma? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Surgery & Prevention
- How does glaucoma damage my eyes?
Glaucoma is harmful to vision because it damages the optic nerve. Everything you see gets transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve. Any damage to it reduces the quality and quantity of information your brain receives, resulting in vision loss.
- What are the stages of glaucoma?
The different stages of glaucoma determine the severity of the condition, and the diagnosis and treatment get administered accordingly. Primarily, there are three stages of glaucoma – mild or early-stage glaucoma, moderate-stage glaucoma, and severe-stage glaucoma.
- Who is at risk of glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the most common cause of blindness in African Americans and Hispanics. African Americans have three times the rate of glaucoma as Caucasians and four times the rate of blindness. Glaucoma is fifteen times more likely to cause blindness in African Americans than Caucasians between 45 and 64 years. People over the age of 60 are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma than those under 60 years.
- How do eye doctors check for glaucoma?
Simple eye pressure tests and a microscopic examination will usually alert your doctor to any problems that may indicate glaucoma. If glaucoma is suspected, a nerve fiber analyzer may get used to determine whether the optic nerve has been damaged, as well as a visual field test to determine the amount of peripheral vision loss.
- How do eye doctors treat glaucoma?
There are several effective glaucoma treatments available that can slow the progression and damage to the optic nerve. Prescription medications or eye drops are among the treatments available. In some cases, you may require Laser Trabeculoplasty to open drainage holes in the eye, allowing fluid to flow more freely and potentially eliminating the need for daily eye drops.
- How to treat glaucoma with medicines?
Eye drops and, in rare cases, pills are the most commonly used treatments for glaucoma. Eye drops get classified into several types, but all get used to either reduce the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye or improve its outward flow. Doctors will sometimes prescribe a combination of eye drops. Based on the individual case of glaucoma, medical history, and current medication regimen, a doctor can determine which medications are best suited for a patient.
- How to treat glaucoma with laser surgery?
Although laser surgery can help control glaucoma symptoms, no treatments are currently available to cure the disease. Several laser surgery techniques can aid in draining fluid from the eyes or reduce the amount of fluid produced. These techniques help to maintain normal eye pressure and reduce the risk of further optic nerve damage.
Read More: What Are The Causes Of Glaucoma?
- How to treat glaucoma with surgery?
If medications are ineffective or the patient is unable to tolerate them, a doctor may recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is usually to reduce the pressure inside the eye. Trabeculoplasty, filtering surgery, and drainage implants are all possible interventions.
- How to live with glaucoma?
When you are diagnosed with glaucoma, you might face lifelong treatment, regular checkups, and the possibility of progressive vision loss. Meeting and talking with other people who have glaucoma can be very beneficial, and there are many online support groups and resources available. Find out about local groups and meeting times by contacting hospitals and eye care centers in your area.
- How to take eye drop medications?
Prescription eye drops are the most commonly used treatment for glaucoma. It reduces the pressure in your eye and helps to protect your optic nerve. They cannot cure glaucoma or reverse vision loss, but they can prevent it from worsening. If your doctor prescribes eye drops, you must use them daily. Depending on the medication, you may need to take it once, twice, or up to four times per day.
- Can glaucoma be cured?
Glaucoma is incurable, and you cannot restore lost vision. It is possible to slow or stop further vision loss with medication, laser treatment, and surgery. Because open-angle glaucoma cannot get cured, it must get monitored for the rest of one’s life. The first step toward preserving your vision is a diagnosis.
- What is the latest treatment for glaucoma?
There are numerous glaucoma surgery options available. However, only use one if your doctor recommends it. Your eye doctor or ophthalmologist can usually treat glaucoma with prescribed eye drops and medication.
Read More: What Is Glaucoma? Diagnosis And Treatment Options
- How can glaucoma be treated permanently?
While there is no permanent cure for glaucoma, your eye doctor can treat its symptoms and make sure the condition does not worsen. If your glaucoma condition gets detected early, the treatment prescribed by your doctor can slow down its progression.
- Can glaucoma be cured if caught early?
In general, you can avoid glaucoma-related blindness with early detection. Patients with glaucoma may go undiagnosed because they exhibit few to no symptoms. As a result, if detected and treated early, your eye doctor may be able to prevent permanent vision loss and blindness.
- Is there hope for glaucoma patients?
Early detection and treatment remain vital for patients with glaucoma. If your eye doctor can diagnose and treat your glaucoma early, they can prevent its progression and avoid blindness or vision loss altogether. So, yes, there is hope for glaucoma patients. Remember, regular eye checkups can help you detect any eye-related condition.
- How can I lower my eye pressure fast?
Your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops to lower your eye pressure quickly. However, if you want your eyes to remain healthy over a longer time, you need to follow a few natural methods. You can start by eating a wholesome diet, regular exercise, staying hydrated, and reducing your screen time to ensure your eyes have normal pressure.
- How long does it take to go blind from glaucoma?
Fortunately, for the vast majority of patients, the answer is no. Blindness does occur due to glaucoma, but it is a relatively rare occurrence in approximately 5% of glaucoma patients. However, vision impairment is more common, affecting around 10% of patients. The vast majority of glaucoma patients will get stabilized with proper treatment and follow-up. Working with your doctor to manage your glaucoma will result in a positive outcome.
- What foods to avoid if you have glaucoma?
A high trans fatty acid diet can cause damage to the optic nerve. To avoid worsening your glaucoma, avoid foods such as cookies, cakes, and donuts, as well as fried items such as French fries and stick margarine.
- What should I avoid if I have glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a silent thief of sight. The symptoms may not appear before the disease’s effects are felt. Regular eye exams are essential for detecting and controlling glaucoma. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the onset and impacts of glaucoma, such as limiting your intake of trans fat, saturated fat, caffeine, and simple carbohydrates.
Considering the questions and concerns you may have regarding glaucoma, this article has tried to address as many as possible. You can take this knowledge as a way to get your eyes checked regularly and seek treatment at the earliest.
Glaucoma is a common eye condition that affects people as they age. It occurs when the fluid does not drain from your eyes, increasing eye pressure and the risk of optic nerve damage. In the early stages of glaucoma, you may not find any symptoms, but it can lead to vision loss. If you get your eyes checked regularly, it can aid in the detection of any changes that will allow your eye doctor to begin treatment, usually with eye drops. Eye drops have the potential to slow or stop the progression of the disease.
Remember only to reach out to the most advanced Eye-care Hospital for your Glaucoma Treatment if you have other health issues or even otherwise. The experts at Dada Laser Eye Institute will guide you through the entire process. The doctors explain the risks involved and share their knowledge about glaucoma before and after your treatment.