Eyes are complicated organs– there are many variables that affect their overall health. Eyestrain and poor vision are some common problems, but there are many conditions with more serious consequences. In the world of blogs, social media trends, and 24-hour news channels, it can be easy to make assumptions about medical terms. The Vision Gallery is here to set the story straight, so read on for a crash course in glaucoma.
WHAT IS… Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a term that actually covers several conditions, all of which impact the eye in similar ways. One such symptom is increased and sustained pressure in the eye that can eventually cause permanent damage to the optic nerve.
The optic nerve transmits all of your eye’s “visual information” to your brain. A damaged optic nerve can degrade or completely destroy the vision in the affected eye(s). Serious cases of glaucoma result in permanent blindness.
WHAT CAUSES… Glaucoma?
The exact causes of glaucoma are unknown, but there is extensive research on preventing and treating the issue. The conditions that increase your likelihood of developing glaucoma are usually inherited genetically, so always provide your optometrist with a detailed family medical history. Trauma can also cause instances of glaucoma, but are less common. If you have recently suffered an eye injury and pain or inflammation persists, visit a medical professional as soon as possible. Any eye emergencies should be examined and treated immediately by a doctor.
The following is a brief summary of common glaucoma symptoms:
- Tunnel vision;
- Pain, redness or inflammation around the eye;
- Vomiting or nausea;
- Hazy appearance in eyes;
- Vision loss;
- Halos appear around lights.
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek professional medical advice.
Vision loss caused by glaucoma is permanent, but it can be prevented if treated early enough. Regular eye exams are the best defense against developing this condition. Glaucoma sufferers can be diagnosed medicinal eye drops, laser eye surgery or even microsurgery– a high-tech, but invasive procedure.
If you are worried about glaucoma (or just curious), contact or visit the Vision Gallery today. Our medical professionals can put your mind at ease by answering your questions and determining your risk factors. Remember: a standard eye exam always includes tests that can help identify early stages of glaucoma– so don’t put it off!