Understanding Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults.

SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of the condition. For example:

Open-Angle Glaucoma

  • Patchy blind spots in the side (peripheral) or central vision, frequently in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages

Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

The damage caused by glaucoma can’t be reversed. But treatment and regular checkups can help slow or prevent vision loss, especially if the disease is recognized in its early stages.

Glaucoma is treated by lowering the eye pressure (intraocular pressure). Depending on the situation, treatment options may include prescription eye-drops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of any of these

Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that person may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.

PROTECT EYES AND VISION BY FOLLOWING THESE TIPS

  • Have your eyes checked
  • Control chronic health conditions
  • Protect eyes from the Sun
  • Prevent eye injuries
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Use the right glasses
  • Use good lighting

Consult a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms are experienced — sudden loss of vision in one eye with or without pain, sudden hazy or blurred vision, double vision, or see flashes of light, black spots or halos around lights. Any of these symptoms may signal a serious medical or eye condition.

Try to eat plenty of fruits, leafy greens and other vegetables. These foods generally contain high levels of antioxidants as well as vitamin A and beta carotene. They’re also vital to maintaining healthy vision.

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