Having vision problems can be a difficult thing for a patient. Their social life could get hindered, their ability to move about can become restricted, and they may need to depend on others but have no one around for support. This is enough to make someone very depressed and anxious.
Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness for people over 60 in North America, often becomes a concern around the standard retirement age of 65.
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Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which is important for clear vision.
The most common type is called open-angle glaucoma, which happens when fluid doesn’t drain properly from the eye, causing pressure that can harm the optic nerve.
Other types of glaucoma include pigmentary, angle-closure, low-tension, and congenital glaucoma. If you don’t treat glaucoma, you could lose your sight or even go blind. To catch it early, people should get regular eye exams.
Glaucoma has different symptoms depending on what kind it is and how far along it is.
In the early stages of open-angle glaucoma, there may be no noticeable symptoms. As it gets worse, people may develop blind spots in their peripheral vision, and eventually, central vision may be affected.
Severe headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, halos or colored rings around lights, and red eyes are all symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma.
People with normal-tension glaucoma may not have any symptoms at first, but over time, they may experience blurry vision and loss of peripheral vision.
Other signs of glaucoma include unclear vision, eye discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and seeing rainbow-colored halos around lights.
Regular eye exams are important to catch glaucoma early, especially if someone has these symptoms.
The main goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce eye pressure, which can be done with eye drops, laser surgery, or conventional surgery.
Eye drops are often used because they can either help drain fluid from the eye or decrease the amount of fluid produced. If eye drops don’t work, doctors might suggest laser treatment or surgery.
Laser trabeculoplasty is a common laser procedure that can help fluid drain from the eye, while microsurgery can create a new pathway for fluid to leave the eye.
The type of treatment someone gets depends on the type and severity of glaucoma. It’s important to follow the doctor’s treatment plan and get regular eye exams to monitor the disease. Alternative treatments like herbal remedies and relaxation techniques aren’t proven to work and should never replace conventional treatments.
Glaucoma medications can cause side effects.
The side effects depend on the medication. For example, prostaglandin analogs can change the color of the eye, make the eyelid skin darker, or cause stinging, redness, or itching in the eyes
Beta-blockers can slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, or cause respiratory issues.
Alpha-adrenergic agonists can lead to dry mouth, eye redness, or fatigue.
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors can make someone urinate more often, feel tingling in their fingers or toes, or have digestive discomfort.
Rho kinase inhibitors can cause eye redness, eye pain, or blurred vision.
People should tell their doctor about any side effects and report any severe or ongoing symptoms. The doctor may adjust the medication or prescribe a different one to minimize side effects.
It can be very hard to cope with glaucoma. The repercussions of the lifestyle are something only those who suffer can truly appreciate. Family, friends, and healthcare professionals can all be tremendous support for them. Glaucoma patients can also find support systems through the American Glaucoma Society, Glaucoma.org, and Bright Focus. They have resources like helpful links, guidance, and assistance programs. The rest of us must value what we have, go for regular check-ups, and take care of our eyes.
For more information, visit Canada Drugs Direct