Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to your eye's optic nerve and gets worse over time. It's often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye when the fluid in the front of the eye is not circulating correctly. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life. Glaucoma can damage your vision so gradually, with no noticeable signs of vision loss, until the disease is at an advanced stage.
These are some of the symptoms that patients may experience:
- Seeing halos around lights
- Eye redness
- Vision loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Eye pain
- Narrowing of the field of vision
If you have any of the symptoms above, it is important to seek medical care immediately. Without treatment, a glaucoma patient's field of vision will get less and less until they are unable to see at all.
Risk factors that increase the chance of developing glaucoma are:
- Elevated eye pressure
- Age older than 60 years
- Family history of glaucoma
- Other medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease
- Near or far sightedness
- Long-term corticosteroid use
- Other eye conditions such as eye tumors, retinal detachment, eye inflammation and lens dislocation
Even if you are not at risk for Glaucoma, you should still schedule regular routine eye examinations every two years with an optometrist or ophthalmologist. They will be able to tell you if you need to come for examinations more frequently. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma there is currently no treatment plans that can reverse the vision loss already incurred by the disease but there are treatment plans to lower your eye pressure and hence prevent further vision loss such as eye drops, laser surgery and microsurgery.