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Don’t be blind sighted by glaucoma: January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Don’t be blind sighted by glaucoma: January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

20 Jan, 2023

Glaucoma Awareness Month in January is an important time that gives us the opportunity to spread awareness about one of the leading causes of blindness. By spreading the preventive message this month, we may aid in protecting people's vision.

Since glaucoma causes permanent vision loss and has no symptoms, it is also known as "the sneak thief of sight." Regular eye exams are important to maintain eyesight because up to 40% of vision loss may occur without a person noticing it.

The second most common cause of blindness is glaucoma!

The term "glaucoma" describes a variety of conditions that damage the optic nerve and result in blindness and visual loss. Ocular hypertension, or high pressure inside the eye, is the main cause of glaucoma.

When the drainage area of the eyes becomes slightly blocked, preventing the eye fluid from draining, the intraocular pressure (IOP) rises above the normal range, resulting into a group of eye condition usually affecting both the eyes, termed as glaucoma. And once the optic nerve, which transmits more than 1 million nerves from the eye to the brain, gets damaged due to this pressure, vision loss is irreversible.

There are several types of glaucoma that exist!

Common types of glaucoma that exist, include:

  • Open-angle glaucoma: The most common form of glaucoma where the drain structure of the eye looks fine, but fluid doesn’t flow out properly.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma: An uncommon type of glaucoma that can develop slowly or quickly, causing a sudden, painful pressure build-up in the eye, because the drain space between the iris and the cornea becomes too narrow.
  • Secondary glaucoma: A condition that develops after an eye injury or another eye disorder causes added pressure in the eye.
  • Normal-tension glaucoma: A condition in which the optic nerve is damaged despite having normal eye pressure and experiencing blind spots in vision.
  • Congenital glaucoma: An uncommon but serious type of glaucoma that often manifests at birth or shortly after birth and is caused by an abnormality of the eye.

Usually, there are no early warning signs!

The fact that glaucoma often develops suddenly is what makes it so alarming. The majority of people miss any symptoms or warning signs, but with routine eye exams, we can check your eye pressure and keep an eye on your risk.

Symptoms you should not ignore!

The majority of persons with open-angle glaucoma have no symptoms, and when symptoms do appear, it is usually late in the course of the disease. The main symptom is usually a loss of side vision, often known as "peripheral vision."

Angle-closure glaucoma symptoms frequently appear sooner and are more obvious, and the damage might occur quickly.

If you have any of the following symptoms, get medical attention immediately:

  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Eye pain
  • Vision loss
  • Redness in your eye
  • Eye that seems foggy (especially in newborns)
  • Upset stomach or vomiting

Avoid being at risk of getting glaucoma!

Even though certain factors put you at higher risk, it's crucial that everyone be aware of these risk factors. For instance:

  • Glaucoma often affects middle-aged and elderly people, but it can and does affect people of all age groups.
  • The risk begins to rise as early as age 40.
  • Over the age of 60, and even more so over the age of 80, the risk increases.
  • Certain medical disorders, such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, may raise the risk.
  • Your risk is significantly increased if you have a family history of glaucoma.

Early detection of glaucoma can help preserve vision!

Since glaucoma progresses slowly, it's important to get routine eye exams so that your optometrist may perform a number of tests to identify the condition, including:

  • Eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy
  • Visual field test
  • Optic nerve assessment
  • Central corneal thickness test

If glaucoma is suspected, you will be sent to an ophthalmologist, where more tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis and provide treatment advice.

Get your glaucoma treated!

To date, there is no cure for glaucoma; nevertheless, glaucoma medications generally work by reducing intraocular pressure, preventing further damage to the optic nerve. The best treatment depends on several factors, including the type of glaucoma. Early detection is important for halting the disease's progression.

Among the treatment possibilities for lowering intraocular pressure in the eye are:

  • Eye Drops
  • Laser Treatment
  • Surgery

While there are many successful glaucoma treatments available, it is important to remember that you must take your medication as prescribed and have regular check-ups.

You can trust Bajaj Eye Care Centre to look after your eyes!

When was the last time you had your eyes checked? Make it a point to get your eyes checked and your vision checked during Glaucoma Awareness Month. Make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Rajiv Bajaj, the best Ophthalmologist in Delhi, at Bajaj Eye Care Centre to get more information or to talk about glaucoma.