The term "glaucoma" is used to refer to a group of diseases characterized by optic nerve damage (neuropathy) and a shift (loss) of the fields of vision, typically associated with increased intraocular pressure. Damage to the optic nerve results in irreversible vision loss so early diagnosis and timely glaucoma care are very necessary.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. Late diagnosis is the main cause of blindness in glaucoma.
The main risk factor for glaucoma is an increase in intraocular pressure. Normally, intraocular pressure is 11-21 mm Hg. Art., an average of 15.5 mm RT. Art. The risk of blindness appears to be directly proportional to the degree and duration of increased intraocular pressure. However, up to 20% of patients with characteristic changes in the optic nerve and visual fields have normal intraocular pressure. Apparently, other factors, such as vasospasm, contribute to optic nerve damage in these patients.
Many factors affect the degree of the intraocular pressure. During the day, the intraocular pressure changes, and is often higher in the morning. These intraocular pressure fluctuations depend on individual circadian rhythms, and can vary widely in different people. When a person is lying on his back, intraocular pressure rises slightly.
Intraocular pressure only increases marginally with arterial hypertension but it can be decreased by taking antihypertensive medications such as beta-blockers and calcium antagonists. There is no consensus on the effects of intraocular pressure on caffeine, smoking and exercise. There is a small community of people with glucocorticoid hypersensitivity, too. A intraocular pressure can significantly increase the use of glucocorticoids in response to systemic or local (as part of eye drops). Occasionally, the application of creams or ointments containing glucocorticoids to the skin around the eyes causes this reaction too.
Other risk factors
Today, the role of heredity in the development of many types of glaucoma is evident and any person with glaucoma should be at risk in the immediate family (parents, brothers and sisters), particularly after 40 years. The risk of glaucoma also rises with diabetes mellitus, high myopia, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
Early to moderate, open-angle primary glaucoma is mostly asymptomatic. Patients may experience blurry or distorted vision with only serious damage to the optic nerve. In some cases, they experience a lack of peripheral vision; it is typically appropriate to close a better viewing eye to detect a visual field deficit. Intermittent angle-closure glaucoma patients can complain about light sources around the eye pressure or rainbow circles. In addition, nausea and vomiting can accompany an Angle-closure glaucoma attack.
Since some symptoms may be mild, absent, or masked by common symptoms, a thorough eye examination is important.
Why does glaucoma appear?
There are many contributing risk factors to glaucoma. Among them the most significant is high intraocular pressure. In most cases, after eliminating the intraocular fluid, increased eye pressure is secondary to failure. Eye pressure is considered normal up to 22 mmHg but certain glaucoma patients should keep lower blood pressure to prevent progression of the disease.
Many significant factors, such as genetic predisposition or vascular conditions, also influence the presence of a disease in a patient to some degree or another.
Types of treatment for glaucoma?
The main goal of treatment is to preserve the vision and quality of life of patients. Currently, treatment is aimed at eliminating the causes of secondary glaucoma and in all types of glaucoma, to reduce intraocular pressure.
The main glaucoma treatment is medical, which includes instilling droplets into the eyes. These eye drops contain different medicinal substances that help lower the intraocular pressure. There are several forms of effective eye drops but their use after instillation can cause mild eye irritation (redness, sensation of the foreign body ...). But adherence to an ophthalmologist's prescriptions is very necessary for care. Unless the diagnosis isn't absolutely right, the disease's progression may accelerate. Not using eye drops as your doctor tells you is dangerous for your eyesight.
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