There are several eye conditions that can affect your eye health and vision in different ways. One of these common conditions is Glaucoma. Presently, it affects around 60 million people around the world.
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can cause damage to optic nerve, leading to sight loss. It is incredibly important to detect and treat glaucoma as early as possible, as unfortunately damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is linked to high eye pressure, although in some cases it can occur in people with normal eye pressure. There are 5 main types of glaucoma, each of which has a slightly different cause.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
This is the most common type of glaucoma and is associated with older age and Afro-Caribbean descent. This type of glaucoma develops slowly, and usually occurs when the eye’s drainage channels slowly become blocked.
Closed Angle Glaucoma
This occurs when eye pressure rises very suddenly, causing acute damage to the optic nerve.
Secondary glaucoma usually occurs due to another factor within the body, such as side affects from medication or an underlying eye injury or eye condition.
Normal Tension Glaucoma
Normal tension glaucoma is diagnosed even though eye pressure is normal.
This is present from birth due to abnormalities in the eye.
What Are The Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma develops slowly, and often has no symptoms at all. Unfortunately, Glaucoma symptoms may only be apparent when damage has already occurred. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Blurry and reduced peripheral vision
- Rings and rainbow coloured circles around bright lights
- Quick onset of severe eye pain, along with tenderness or redness around the eye, nausea, headaches, and vomiting
How Is Glaucoma Diagnosed?
Glaucoma can be diagnosed during your routine eye examination. At Bush, your Comprehensive eye examination includes OCT, which can measure numerous features of the back of the eye and facilitate an early diagnosis of glaucoma.
Your eye pressure will also be checked, along with an examination of the front of the eye to assess if there are any blockages.
How Do You Treat Glaucoma?
If glaucoma is suspected at your eye examination, patients will be referred to see a specialist to confirm the diagnosis and assess any damage to the eyes.
Treating glaucoma is done by managing any underlying issues to prevent any further damage to the optic nerve. At present treatment includes eye drops to improve fluid drainage and reduce the amount of fluid produced in the eye, and laser treatment for glaucoma to lower eye pressure.
Unfortunately, sight loss from glaucoma is irreversible. Ensuring you have regular eye examinations, as recommended by your optometrist will allow your eye health to be monitored and identify any changes that may occur.
If you have noticed any symptoms or feel your vision has changed please contact your local Bush to speak to a member of the team for advice, or to book an eye examination.