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normal tension glaucom is a serious eye condition that involves an elevation in pressure inside the eye. Increased pressure results from a buildup of excess fluid in the eye. Glaucoma is a dangerous eye condition because it frequently progresses without obvious symptoms. This is why it is frequently referred to as “the sneak thief of sight.”
Types of Glaucoma
There are several types of glaucoma, for example, congenital, primary, secondary, and normal tension glaucoma. Congenital glaucoma appears in young people; secondary glaucoma is the result of injury or trauma. There are two types of primary glaucoma most frequently associated with aging: acute or closed angle glaucoma, and chronic or open angle glaucoma. The Reference Section at the end of this Fact Sheet provides resources for learning more about each of the types of glaucoma.
Regardless of the type, glaucoma can impair vision by creating pressure that damages the optic nerve, The “cable” of nerve fibers that transmits messages about what we see from the eye to the brain.
It is important to recall the structure of the eye and how it works to understand the dangers posed by glaucoma. Glaucoma can cause damage when the aqueous humor, a fluid that inflates the front of the eye and circulates in a chamber called the anterior chamber, enters the eye but cannot drain properly from the eye. Elevated pressure inside the eye, in turn, can cause damage to the optic nerve or the blood vessels in the eye that nourish the optic nerve. The Human Eye, Its Functions, and Visual Impairment explains how the eye works. When glaucoma begins to affect a person’s vision, the first problems are with peripheral vision, or what can be seen at the sides of the visual field, rather than in the center. If glaucoma progresses, it can destroy all peripheral vision, then impair central vision, and lead to total blindness. Treatments for glaucoma are aimed at bringing down the pressure in the eye to a level that is low enough to prevent harm to the optic nerve. Once the optic nerve is damaged from glaucoma, lowering the pressure in the eye only prevents further damage to the nerve. Damage already done to the optic nerve cannot be reversed.
When a person receives a diagnosis of glaucoma, it means a diagnosis of a life-long condition. However, early detection of glaucoma, appropriate and ongoing treatment, and the availability of specialized low vision and vision rehabilitation services if vision should become impaired, means that people who have glaucoma can live productive and satisfying lives.
A pressure check for glaucoma should be a routine part of every eye examination at least by the age of 35. A visual field test can also detect glaucoma by indicating the loss of peripheral vision.
How Common Is Glaucoma?
According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation glaucoma affects more than 3 million Americans. It is also reported that glaucoma is the third leading cause of legal blindness in Caucasians, and the leading cause of blindness in African Americans. Although anyone can get glaucoma, some people are at higher risk. Those at risk include:
1.People over the age of 60.
2.African Americans over the age of 40.
3.People with a family history of glaucoma.
Untreated glaucoma can lead to blindness. Eye drops or tablets may be prescribed to reduce fluid production and consequently reduce pressure in the eye.
Laser or surgical treatment may be used when medical treatment isn’t sufficiently effective.
People over the age of 40 are advised to have their eyes tested every two years to check for signs of glaucoma. If glaucoma is identified early enough, treatment can be given to prevent further damage and reduce the risk of blindness.
These tests are available at your local optician and should include:
•examination of the optic disc
•measurement of the pressure in the eye
•checking of peripheral vision (by looking for a sequence of spots of light on a screen).
People who have experienced vision loss from glaucoma can retain their independence, productivity, and quality of life by learning to use specialized devices and techniques to carry out their daily activities. These may include using special lenses that can help those who have remaining sight make the best use of available vision, and using specialized techniques that enable people to manage home and work responsibilities, travel using mass transportation, and carry out a host of other activities.
Click to learn more about Acute GlaucomaÂ and its Ayurvedic Remedy
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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
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