Glaucoma is a type of eye disease that causes vision loss due to its way of damaging the optic nerve – the nerve at the back of the eye that connects to the brain. In the United States, around three million Americans have this eye disorder. It is also the second leading cause of blindness globally.
The effects of glaucoma are irreversible; there is no cure for it yet. But, if the condition is caught early, you can take steps to prevent vision loss and preserve your sight.
That is why it is desirable to book an appointment with an eye specialist regularly to check your optical health. If you want to be sure that you are in safe hands, you can check the medical services offered by the Comfort Home Health Agency. The Pinellas/Pasco based health service provider not only provides safe procedures but affordable, reliable, and convenient treatments.
Types of Glaucoma
Under this category, glaucoma’s cause is nowhere to be found. Listed below are some of the examples:
1. Open-angle glaucoma
Nine out of 10 glaucoma patients in the United States have this type of condition. It does not reveal its symptoms in its early stage – people with this condition will only notice it once they start losing their vision.
Like the other types, the cause of open-angle glaucoma is hard to find. But, eye experts suggest that it may be due to the pressure that is building up in the eye. This build-up makes it difficult for the eye to drain fluid quickly enough, creating an unwanted amount of pressure that pushes the optic nerve in the back of the eye.
2. Normal-tension glaucoma
Even normal eye pressure can cause glaucoma. That is, if you have a family history of this condition, have low blood pressure, or have particular health problems.
3. Congenital glaucoma
In this case, the baby is already born with the disease. About 1 in 10,000 newborn babies in the United States have congenital glaucoma. Babies with this condition usually show signs like sensitivity to light, larger eyes than usual, cloudy eyes, and extra tears.
4. Angle-closure glaucoma
Also referred to as acute- or narrow-angle glaucoma, this condition most calls for emergency attention. This kind of eye disease causes a quick build-up of fluid in the eye, forcing a sudden spike in eye pressure which, if left untreated, can lead to immediate blindness.
Unlike primary glaucomas, this eye condition is perpetrated by another health disorder.
1. Pigmentary glaucoma
Sometimes, the iris’ pigment flakes off and blocks the fluid’s way out, giving rise to experiences such as blurry vision and rainbow-colored rings. Near-sighted men usually experience this.
2. Neovascular glaucoma
Influenced by preexisting conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, this type of eye disorder causes vision loss or redness in the eye. This happens due to the formation of extra blood vessels that block the way where fluids would typically drain.
3. Exfoliation glaucoma
Also called pseudoexfoliation, this condition is brought about by preexisting conditions like exfoliation syndrome. Genetics could be a factor in its existence. Compared with open-angle glaucoma, this eye condition often gives birth to higher pressure.
4. Uveitic glaucoma
Uveitis is a condition that leads to inflammation and swelling in the eye. Here, as the experts say, the tissue scar in the middle of the eye may block the path where the fluid typically comes out, causing vision loss and uveitic glaucoma.
Who is at Risk?
Age, race, preexisting health conditions, injuries, and many more could play significant roles in the development of glaucoma. Some of them are:
- Family members with glaucoma
- Farsightedness and nearsightedness
- Record of eye injury
- Over 40 years old
- High eye pressure
- Steroid medications
- Thin corneas and optic nerve
- High blood pressure, migraines, diabetes, etc.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
As mentioned before, glaucoma typically shows no signs of symptoms in its early stage. People with this condition often notice the signs in its late stage, such as:
- Redness of the eye
- Eye pain
- Rainbow-colored rings or halos around lights
- Vision loss
- Hazy sight
- Upset stomach
Tips on How to Preserve Your Vision
The effect of glaucoma is irreversible, which is why it is crucial to detect it in its early stage. Or you can take the much better and more effective way: preserve your vision and prevent vision loss. There are many ways to achieve this, and here are the top five steps that you can do:
1. Get an eye examination
The only way to detect typical eye diseases like glaucoma in its early stage is through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Some people think their eye health is in good shape; however, it can only be confirmed by visiting an eye professional and getting a thorough exam. It is worth remembering that glaucoma shows no early warning signs, which is why having a professional check your eye is crucial.
It is also worth the try, even if you are not part of the risk group.
2. Have a healthy lifestyle
Food that gives lutein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E could help prevent vision loss. You may get these from:
- Salmon and other oily fish
- Eggs, beans, nuts,
- Spinach, collards, kale, and other green leafy vegetables
- Citrus fruits
Maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active are vital to overall wellness. Doing so could help ward off the risk of diabetes and other chronic conditions that may lead to vision loss and blindness.
Another lifestyle component you could use to give eyes some rest is the 20-20-20 rule. Here’s how it works: for every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet from the screen for 20 seconds. This help in reducing eye strain.
3. Know your history
Knowing your family history of eye health problems could pave the way for a more precise examination of the patient’s overall condition. Some types of glaucoma, like open-angle, do not show symptoms and are hereditary.
4. Don’t smoke
Research has shown that smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage, which could lead to vision loss and blindness. Quit smoking or do not smoke at all.
After getting checked by an eye specialist, they will suggest some medical procedures to help reduce the pressure in your eye. Treatments may include eye drops, oral medicine, surgery, or a combination.
Having reduced vision due to eye conditions is already challenging in completing our daily tasks, what more having no vision at all. It is essential to take the first step immediately to prevent this from happening. That is, checking with reliable experts.
Comfort Home Health Agency is a one-call-away medical service provider in the United States. Its health programs cover a wide array of medical needs, supervised by some of the best professionals in their respective fields.