Everything you Need to Know about Glaucoma

Your good vision depends largely on the health of the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a condition wherein your optic nerve suffers damage, generally due to the extraordinarily high pressure in your eye. 

One of the leading causes of blindness, Glaucoma, can occur at any age, but you will find it most prevalent among the sixty-year-olds and above. Since it is so widespread, a good way to prevent this condition from occurring in your life is to learn as much as possible about it and take good measures. 

What Glaucoma is and Symptoms of it

A common description of Glaucoma is ‘a group of eye diseases that result in blindness and vision loss.’ The optic nerve, the nerve in the back of the eye, suffers irreparable damage from high eye pressure. 

Often, the symptoms start so slowly one can hardly notice them, and a comprehensive eye exam is the only means of recognizing it early on. The symptoms that do exist, though, are as follows:

Acute angle-closure glaucoma symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Lights causing halos
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Eye pain
  • Excruciating headaches

Open-angle

  • The central or peripheral vision having patchy blind spots, usually in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision in advanced Glaucoma

Ways to Prevent it

With some self-care steps, you can catch Glaucoma in the early stages. This is the only way to offset vision loss or decreasing its progress. These include:

  1. Go for dilated eye examinations regularly. If you’re under forty, then a comprehensive eye exam after every five years is best. For over forty, it is best to have an eye test after every 2-4 years. Beyond 54 years, opt for a test once annually. 
  2. Glaucoma is hereditary, so you must learn about your family’s eye health. 
  3. Opt for moderate and regular exercises to prevent Glaucoma from building eye pressure. 
  4. Use glaucoma eyedrops regularly to reduce high eye pressure risks. 
  5. Use eye protection, especially during sports and handling power tools. 

What Happens During an Eye Exam

In a dilated eye exam for Glaucoma, which is part of a comprehensive evaluation, an ophthalmologist takes a magnified, 3D view of your optic nerve. He/she uses dilation tactics to determine the optic nerves’ status and verify whether you have Glaucoma. 

There is also a tonometry test, in which an eye instrument touches your eye’s surface. An eye drop numbs the area temporarily so that the instrument can read your eye pressure. The visual field test, on the other hand, checks your loss of vision from Glaucoma.

Glaucoma imaging test includes dilation of eyes and photographing the optic nerve. It is painless and quick, but the results prove the existence of a lack of Glaucoma. In the eye exam’s vital signs, you also have to undergo a corneal thickness and angle test.