February 22, 2024

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Glaucoma 101 – HealthyWomen

Glaucoma 101 - HealthyWomen

January is Nationwide Glaucoma Awareness Thirty day period.

Medically reviewed by Raymond Douglas, M.D., Ph.D., Cedars-Sinai

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a ailment that affects the eyes. About 3 million folks in the U.S. have glaucoma.

Usually, glaucoma occurs since there’s improved stress within the eye. The added stress can problems the optic nerve about time and cause you to progressively get rid of your vision.

Your eye is crammed with a crystal clear fluid referred to as aqueous humor. In a healthful eye, there’s a harmony among fluid getting created and fluid draining from the eye by way of its drainage program. When fluid builds up and isn’t being drained accurately, the stress in your eye can establish. This can damage the optic nerve fibers in the eye, which can direct to vision loss. Untreated, glaucoma can guide to blindness.

There are quite a few types of glaucoma, but the two primary sorts are principal open up-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Key open angle glaucoma typically has no signs and symptoms and eyesight loss is gradual about time. Angle-closure glaucoma can be acute, and affiliated with ache and vision changes. Nearly all glaucoma forms require increased eye tension. But, in uncommon cases, glaucoma can arise inspite of “normal” tension readings inside of the eye.

Who is at danger for glaucoma?

Your prospects of producing glaucoma raise if you have particular factors, these kinds of as:

  • Currently being over age 60
  • Remaining of African, Asian or Hispanic descent
  • Obtaining a family members background of glaucoma
  • Possessing amplified eye tension or slim corneas
  • Currently being nearsighted or farsighted
  • Acquiring specific professional medical circumstances, which include diabetes, higher blood force and coronary heart disorder
  • Having steroid medicines long-expression
  • Possessing had an eye harm

Why are girls additional very likely to get glaucoma?

Mainly because of their lengthier lifestyle expectancy, females account for 6 out of 10 glaucoma cases in the U.S. In addition to age getting a component, estrogen may well also engage in a job.

Study implies that declining estrogen amounts at an before age, these types of as early menopause, could trigger the optic nerve to age speedier than regular. This getting older may possibly depart the nerve far more probably to be harmed by glaucoma. 1 latest review identified that amplified stages of estrogen may well slow the enhancement of glaucoma.

What are the signs and symptoms of glaucoma?

Signs rely on which variety of glaucoma you have.

Open up-angle glaucoma:
Open up-angle glaucoma doesn’t normally lead to any indicators, which is why fifty percent of people with this variety of glaucoma never even know they have it. Nonetheless, as the ailment worsens, you could discover blind places in your peripheral (aspect) eyesight.

Angle-closure glaucoma:
Angle-closure glaucoma takes place when there has been a sudden blockage to the eye drainage process. This results in tension to develop up speedily in the eye. Originally, you may possibly have delicate indications this sort of as blurry vision, observing halos or eye soreness. These have to have to be tackled right absent. An acute angle-closure glaucoma assault is a professional medical crisis and can lead to lasting blindness if not dealt with.

How does glaucoma get diagnosed?

To get a diagnosis of glaucoma, you will will need to see an ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in eye conditions, for an eye test. The ophthalmologist will acquire data and conduct a range of exams, which could possibly include things like:

  • Asking queries about your household heritage
  • Examining your vision, such as using perimetry for your peripheral eyesight
  • Measuring the tension in your eye applying tonometry
  • Accomplishing a pachymetry test to evaluate the thickness of your cornea
  • Using ophthalmoscopy to examine your eyes for optic nerve damage
  • Executing gonioscopy to see how open up the spot of the eye that drains fluid is

How is glaucoma handled?

There is no get rid of for glaucoma, which is why owning normal eye examinations is significant to catch any problems rapidly. Obtaining suitable treatment method can support halt the development of problems from glaucoma.

Prescription eye drops

Glaucoma treatment normally requires eye drops. These medications function by lowering eye tension and protecting the optic nerve from injury. They just can’t improve your vision, but they can perform to keep your glaucoma from having worse and avert further more eyesight loss.

You may possibly have aspect consequences from the drops, including purple, itching or stinging eyes blurry vision or even a change in your eye shade. Really don’t prevent having the drops without having chatting with your health care supplier (HCP).

Laser remedy

A procedure known as laser trabeculoplasty makes use of a laser beam to assist drain the fluid from the eye. This cure is normally executed for open-angle glaucoma. The benefits can past two to 3 decades, so you could possibly have to repeat the method in the future.

For people who have angle-closure glaucoma, a laser iridotomy technique works by using a laser to make a compact gap in the iris to help fluid drain much more successfully.

Surgical procedures

Operation might be necessary if drugs and laser treatment plans aren’t assisting.

Trabeculectomy involves a surgeon generating a compact hole on top rated of the eye. Further fluid drains from this hole to reduce eye force.

In glaucoma implant surgical treatment, the surgeon places a very small tube into the sclera — the white element of the eye. This drains fluid from the eye and decreases eye force.

Micro-invasive or minimally invasive glaucoma surgical treatment (MIGS) is a newer remedy that will work to lessen eye force but has fewer aspect results and threats, and quicker restoration moments, than other surgeries. This is simply because it uses smaller surgical devices and incisions than in common glaucoma surgical procedures. MIGS is most typically utilized for persons with moderate to average open up-angle glaucoma. More research are being finished to figure out the very long-time period security and success of this treatment.

If you are involved that you may have glaucoma or are at possibility, communicate with your health care supplier. They can assist you occur up with a therapy plan that will get the job done for you.

This source was designed with guidance from Glaukos.

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