It is a degenerative optic neuropathy and its main consequence is high intraocular pressure.
The development of the ailment is very slow and it does not present well-marked symptoms during its first stages. Thus it is very important to visit the ophthalmologist regularly. An early diagnostic is key to avoid a greater loss of vision.
The different types of glaucoma affect the ocular drainage system by not allowing the intraocular liquid to drain. This causes higher intraocular pressure, which damages the optical nerve, resulting in visual field loss.
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide. There are several types of the disease and it can affect people in all ages, from newborn babies to elders.
However, the most frequent type is the primary open angle glaucoma, which affects mainly people over the age of 50. This illness causes a very elevated intraocular pressure for the correct functioning of the eye. It deteriorates the optic nerve, which is in charge of taking the visual information from the eye to the brain. When this structure gets damaged the patient can become blind.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ADEQUATE CONTROL OF GLAUCOMA
Primary open angle glaucoma is a chronic disease that can be controlled but not cured, therefore medical check ups and a treatment are required for life. Here lays the importance of having an adequate control with an ophthalmologist. Through a correct treatment, in most cases, we can halt the progression of the illness and avoid blindness.
Who is at risk?
Anybody can suffer from glaucoma but some people have a higher chance of getting it. The following are risk factors for the development of the disease:
- Being over 50 years of age.
- Family history of glaucoma.
- African descendants.
- Previous eye surgeries or injuries.
- Diabetes, arterial hypertension or any condition that requires chronic or steroids treatment.
how to treat glaucoma?
Medical treatment (pills or ophthalmic drops) is the first method to be tried out. It is very important for the patient to follow the treatment strictly to acquire the desired effect. If this option fails, the following alternatives should be looked at.
Laser treatment (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT). This can also be considered as a primary option for early glaucoma or as a complement to the eye drops.
Surgical Treatment (Trabeculectomy or getting implants). In this case, the medical follow-ups after the surgery are very important, the success of the surgery depends on this.