What is glaucoma and how is it detected early on? Expert opticians in Moraira Direkt Optik resolve all of your queries.
One of the most common causes of blindness, glaucoma comprises a group of diseases that cause progressive and irreversible damage to the optic nerve. This structure is key to vision since, through it, the images captured by the retina, converted into nerve impulses, are transmitted to the brain so that it can interpret them and generate vision.
This group of eye diseases can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging the nerve at the back of the eye, known as the optic nerve. Symptoms can start so slowly that you may not notice them.
Glaucoma is a chronic disease caused by an early death of the retinal ganglion cells, whose axons form the optic nerve and this begins to become empty due to its absence. As a consequence, there is a loss of functionality and the patient’s visual field is reduced, if the disease is not treated in time.
In order for Direkt Optik to effectively diagnose your glaucoma, it’s essential that first you can detect the symptoms at home.
Where Does it Stem from?
Most Common Risk Factors
The main risk factor that can trigger glaucoma is ocular hypertension. This condition usually occurs because, for various reasons, the aqueous humor (fluid that bathes the inside of the eye) does not drain properly and accumulates, putting excessive pressure on the optic nerve and causing “stress” that it cannot withstand.
Other Risk Factors
However, there are people with elevated intraocular pressure who do not have glaucoma and patients with normal values (less than 21 mm Hg of pressure) who, on the contrary, develop the pathology.
It should be borne in mind that glaucoma is not only the consequence of a “mechanical” defect in the aqueous humor drainage system but that it is a multifactorial disease whose origin is still poorly understood. Research is underway in this field and it is suspected that vascular problems may be associated with glaucoma cases with normal intraocular pressure since the blood vessels inside the eyeball are among the thinnest in the body and therefore particularly fragile.
On the other hand, genetic predisposition is an important factor in certain types of glaucoma, such as primary open-angle glaucoma (familial) -the most common- or congenital glaucoma -which appears in the first months of life- and juvenile glaucoma.
In most of those affected, glaucoma does not usually show symptoms until the advanced stages of the disease, when the ocular damage is significant.
This occurs because there is a loss of lateral vision, which the patient does not notice because the brain has the capacity to compensate for the lost vision and fill in the blind areas by combining the images from both eyes to give a complete image. This is why it is called the silent disease and its early detection is crucial.
Your risk may be higher if you have a family history of glaucoma or if you:
You are older than 60: Glaucoma is much more common in older people.
You are of Hispanic descent and are over age 60: Hispanics in this age group have a higher risk of glaucoma than other older adults of European descent.
African American: Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans.
Asian: People of Asian descent have a higher risk of angle-closure glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma can cause sudden and severe symptoms. If not treated promptly, it can cause blindness. Symptoms include:
- Sudden blurred vision
- Severe eye pain
- Redness of the eyes
- Colored halos around lights
- Nausea and vomiting
How is it Diagnosed?
Glaucoma is usually diagnosed with a group of tests called a comprehensive eye exam. These tests are usually done by an optician. Ophthalmoscopy is a procedure to examine the optic nerve for damage caused by glaucoma.
As we’ve mentioned, it’s of extreme importance to get your eyes tested regularly as many symptoms of glaucoma can go unnoticed. Contact Direkt Optik to schedule your regular checkups:
Direkt Optik in Moraira
Monday – Friday 9.30am – 6.00pm
Saturdays 10.00am – 2.00pm
24th December 9.30am – 1.00pm
25th, 26th December Closed
Telephone: 965 745 989
Address: Carretera Moraira – Calpe 122,