What is Glaucoma?

What is Glaucoma?
Here is the answer to the question ‘What is glaucoma?’. Glaucoma is a serious medical condition that causes the optic nerve irreversible damage. The optic nerve is a lot like a conducting cable, conducting images from the eye to the brain with a series of electrical impulses. Over time this damage just gets worse, and the glaucoma sufferer will inevitably start to experience a loss of vision. After birth defects and pre-existing medical conditions, glaucoma is the number two cause for blindness.

People over the age of sixty are at a high risk for glaucoma. Some types of glaucoma are hereditary, and can be passed down through generations. People who abuse steroids may increase their risks of coming down with glaucoma. Some ethnic groups may be at a higher risk than others, research is still ongoing. Technically anyone can get glaucoma, even infants.

While there are several forms of glaucoma, there are two types that are the most common. They are called open angle glaucoma, and angle closure glaucoma. Doctors estimate that over eighty five percent of current glaucoma patients have open angle glaucoma. There is no cure yet for this disease, and there is no way to recover the vision once it has been lost. Doctors can treat the symptoms, and they can also prevent further vision loss. But this is not a cure yet.

Doctors estimate that over two million people have some form of glaucoma. There is no way to specifically test for glaucoma. Many people who are afflicted do not even realize the cause. There is some pain associated with the pressure on the optic nerve at the beginning. Then the person will start to lose peripheral vision. This is the ability to see out of the corner of your eye.

Doctors suggest that a person have their eyes examined every two to four years when possible. Regular examinations may help catch this problem in its early stages. The earlier it is detected, the less damage it can cause. People between the ages of forty and sixty should see their doctor at least once a year. If a person is suffering from symptoms that could be related to glaucoma, your doctor has several tests they can run in order to find out for sure.

Early detection is essential to treatment when it comes to glaucoma. Some people may experience these symptoms and dismiss them as stress-related, or something insignificant. When the peripheral vision starts to fail, some people just compensate by turning their heads. A lot of people feel like they shouldn’t run to the doctor with every little ache and pain. However if those aches and pains are in the eye, then by all means run and get there quickly. Don’t ignore your body, it is the only one you get. We hope that this article has successfully answered the question; ‘What is glaucoma?’.


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Author: Professor Steven Charles Gallant

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