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Learn About Eye Diseases: Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye illness that leads to many instances of blindness internationally. Inside the United States alone, it is estimated that 3 million people today suffer from glaucoma. However, only half are aware they have the eye illness. Worldwide, glaucoma causes blindness in almost 6 million people today.

Glaucoma is brought on by an injury of the optic nerve. In most men and women, the optic nerve is damaged by an increase in total eye pressure. This is why eye doctors test your eye pressure in an eye exam. In a small percentage of men and women, people diagnosed with glaucoma have a normal level of eye pressure so it is believed that the optic nerve injury is a result of poor blood flow towards the nerve.

What is the optic nerve?

The optic nerve is what is responsible for the brain processing images, ensuring that we can see. The optic nerve is located at the rear of the eye. Via light transmission, the nerve intercepts photos and transmits them to your brain. As this is carried out, the brain interprets that data and enables us to see.

Glaucoma Symptoms

Glaucoma indicators differ based on the type of glaucoma that develops. In quite a few circumstances, the signs or symptoms are so minor that most don't notice them until the illness progresses. This is why eye exams are an important part of your regular healthcare testing.

What is major open angle glaucoma?

Warning signs of major open angle glaucoma consists of a loss of peripheral vision, and ultimately, tunnel vision within the later stages of your condition. This loss is typically gradual and can go unnoticed.

What is acute angle closure glaucoma?

Acute angle closure glaucoma can have more pronounced symptoms though most will still not realize glaucoma is the cause. In this form of glaucoma, you may experience blurred eyesight, seeing halos around lights, eye redness and nausea and vomiting, which are normally brought on by severe eye pain. If you have any of these signs and symptoms of glaucoma, you should see your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye examination. Since signs of the disease aren't typically noticeable, it is important to receive regular glaucoma screenings during your annual eye exam.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

Glaucoma has the possibility to be life-changing, resulting in total loss of vision, if it isn't discovered early and treated properly. Many individuals, an estimated 1.5 million from the U.S. alone, are unaware they're suffering from glaucoma mainly because the symptoms are so subtle.

Even though no one is exempt from being affected by glaucoma, particular groups of individuals have an increased chance of developing this disease. Your risk of glaucoma is increased by the following if you are:

  • Over 45 years of age
  • Of African descent
  • Nearsighted
  • Diabetic
  • Have a history of eye injuries
  • Farsighted
  • Have a history of greater eye stress
  • A cortisone user

Glaucoma screenings should be a component of one's annual complete eye exam. Using a glaucoma test, the optometrist or ophthalmologist will measure your total eye pressure. A higher total eye pressure level can indicate damage of the optic nerve and will require further investigation by your healthcare provider.

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