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Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of sight

Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of sight

  • March 11, 2019

Most of the people can recite the warning signs of diabetes, the risk of heart diseases even the facts of oral cancer, but how many of them actually know about glaucoma. Forget about the risk factors or symptoms, barely anyone knows what glaucoma is.

In India more than 12 million people are affected by Glaucoma and it is the second leading cause of blindness. However, more than 90% of the cases remain un-diagnosed in the community due to ignorance. The other major reason for glaucoma going unnoticed is because symptoms are visible only at an advanced stage.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of eye pressure that affects the optic nerve. Optic nerve is a bundle of wires which carry the signals from retina in the eye to brain. Glaucoma causes damage to these wires and they began to die, as a result our brain is unable to process what it sees. If glaucoma goes untreated it eventually leads to blindness.

Some myths about Glaucoma

Here are some myths which an ophthalmic encounters everyday while treating someone suffering from glaucoma.

Glaucoma affects only at elder stage

The most common misconception for Glaucoma is that it affects only at the older stage but the fact is that 1 out of 10,000 babies are born with glaucoma every year across the globe. It’s true that generally people in early forties develop glaucoma but people belonging to African American race develop glaucoma at an early stage. People between the age of 20-30 suffer from pigmentory glaucoma, also having a family history of glaucoma increases your chances of having a one.

I don’t wear glasses, I can’t have glaucoma

That’s not the case, generally in the early stage of glaucoma no abrupt symptoms are observed, it’s only the advanced stage when symptoms like loss of vision is observed. The same manifests as loss of peripheral vision first which generally goes undetected for a while.

Once the vision is lost due to glaucoma, it can’t be restored. Hence regular screening from your ophthalmologist is important.

Glaucoma is curable

Despite of many advances in technology, glaucoma still stands incurable, there are only few eye drops or pills which can help in maintaining the eye pressure. If the eye drops are not helpful than your doctor can suggest you surgery. The only motto of all type of treatment measures is to reduce the eye pressure in order to save your optic nerve from damaging.

High blood pressure leads to increased eye pressure

It’s true that elevated blood pressure leads to increased intra-ocular pressure, but on the other hand managing blood pressure doesn’t reduce your chances of having glaucoma. People with normal blood pressure are equally at the risk of glaucoma.

A quick summation

Glaucoma is one of the leading cause of blindness which goes unnoticed due to painless loss of vision. Although, it is more common at an early age, people of all ages can be affected by glaucoma. An early detection and treatment is the only option as once the vision is lost it can’t be restored.

An early detection is all that stands between Normal and No vision.

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