Glaucoma is optic nerve damage due to the group of eye conditions. The optic nerves are important for good vision. This damage happens due to abnormally high pressure in the eyes.
Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness which occur at any age, but it is more common in older people.
Normally glaucoma doesn’t show any warning signs. It develops slowly which you never notice until the vision gets blues and reach an advanced stage.
There is no recovery option for vision loss happen due to glaucoma. You will require to have an eye check-up for pressure measurement. The symptoms of glaucoma found early can help to slow down the vision loss.
Glaucoma types in seniors
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It is the simplest kind of glaucoma disease. It also describes as chronic open-angle glaucoma.
During this condition, the cornea and iris drainage angle stay open, but there will be an incomplete blockage in the trabecular meshwork.
The blockage makes pressure in the eyes never which eventually increase and cause vision loss.
There will be no symptoms in the early stage of open-angle glaucoma. Even the person doesn’t feel any pain and unaware of damage happening in the vision. During this disease, if one eye has a problem, then both eyes get fills, so it makes difficult to notice the blank patches.
It also describes as acute angle-closure glaucoma. This condition occurs suddenly in which the patient feels constant vision loss and pain.
These symptoms of glaucoma help the patient to seek medical help and treat it in time. Finding this kind of eye ailment helps to prevent the permanent damage.
This disease occurs in two ways which includes
1) The iris (thin structure layer in the eyes) get forced in front direction next to trabecular meshwork.
2) The iris gets pulled up toward the trabecular meshwork.
In both the cases, the open anterior chamber angle gets closed due to the iris position. It will result in the blockage of aqueous humor which a transparent fluid in the eyes is. This fluid normally requires to drain out of the anterior chamber, but due to iris position change, it remains in the eyes.
The sudden pressure may show symptoms such as blurred vision, pain, and nausea. The optic nerve damage also happens because of raised intraocular pressure (IOP). It may occur due to a sudden attack or intermittent episodes form a long time.
The normal tension glaucoma also describes as Low-tension glaucoma which is a rare kind of glaucoma and expert unable to explain completely.
During normal tension glaucoma, the optic nerve gets damaged in the normal range of eye pressure also. The optic nerve becomes sensitive or has limited blood circulation. The reduced blood flow in nerves occurs due to atherosclerosis which is plaques (fatty tissues accumulation) in the arteries. It may also happen due to impairing blood circulation.
It is also a kind of open-angle- glaucoma which develops slowly in initial or middle adulthood. These are pigment cells which increase due to the scattered iris with the eyes. If pigment cells accumulate, then the channels which flow fluid from eyes. It causes to irritate the normal fluid flow in your eyes which increase eye pressure.
Glaucoma risk factors
The risk factor of glaucoma put more pressure on eyes, and other risk factor includes
Age: 40 and overage
Individuals with age over 60 are more likely to develop the risk of glaucoma and the risk increase as the age increase every year. The people who reside in America, Africa are at more risk, and it starts at the age of 40.
Glaucoma family history
Generally, everyone can develop glaucoma but the people who have a family history of glaucoma are at more risk, and they should be careful.
According to research, 90% of open-angle glaucoma cases have a link with hereditary. If any of your family members have glaucoma, then you will also get it.
Adequate corneal thickness is essential to mask eye pressure reading. In most cases of thin corneas shows low intraocular pressure reading. It is harmful because if the exact IOP is greater than the reading shows then you are more likely to develop the risk of glaucoma and the doctor may be unable to detect it.
If you left the thin cornea untreated, then the Intraocular pressure causes to result in vision loss and glaucoma.
Steroid medication use
Steroids are a type of medicines which useful in different health conditions such as eye care, asthma, a breathing disorder, and inflammatory disease.
It comes in different forms such as eye drops, creams, pills, inhalers, nasal spray, and injections. Topical visual administration of steroids causes to increase intraocular pressure which will develop the risk of glaucoma.
It is necessary to have a measure of Intraocular pressure regularly while taking steroid treatment.
Previous eye injuries
Eye injury causes to develop glaucoma which also describes as traumatic glaucoma. This kind of glaucoma happens in both conditions such as immediately or a year of an eye injury.
Short-term increased eye pressure can get under control in a similar way of blunt trauma cases.
However, the scarring and damaged tissues point any eye injury which causes to block eye drainage canals.
Poor blood circulation
Good blood circulation is essential for eye health. High blood pressure or poor blood supply can develop the risk of glaucoma. Too much blood pressure cause to raise the eye pressure whereas very low blood pressure unable to circulate enough blood in optic nerves.
Glaucoma and diabetes connection is complex. There are several types of glaucoma. To discover the cause, the doctor requires to examine the type of glaucoma and the type of diabetes.
Irregular type 1 and type 2 diabetes happening from prolonged time will build poor retinal blood supply, diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels leakage which limit retinal functions. If this disorder not treated in time, then it will result in the retina to form new blood vessels for enough oxygen.
Acute glaucoma shows the symptoms of different headaches. A headache occurs due to the sudden rise of intraocular pressure induced by channel closure which drains the fluid from the eyeball.
This headache may occur similar way of a migraine which has sensitivity and nausea.
Early Warning Signs of Glaucoma
Apart from regular eye check-ups, you will require to prevent the glaucoma progression by being careful about its warning signs at an early stage. If you notice the following signs, then check with your doctor without delay.
- Halos around lights: This sign is most visible in night time driving. You may find the appearance of a halo around streetlight or other vehicles headlights.
- Vision loss: You may notice the vision loss in one or both eyes. Have check-up if you notice reduced vision sharpness or blind spots in vision. Peripheral vision is also a form of vision loss during glaucoma.
- Eye pressure or pain: You may feel dull or sharp pain in the eyes which is similar like sinus infection symptoms.
- Cloudy eyes: You can see this sign clearly in the mirror which shows the white part of eyes as cloudy.
- Nausea sensation: This is a common sign which you may experience during glaucoma.
- Chronic redness: If you notice redness in your eyes with tiredness from more days, then it can be an early warning symptom of glaucoma.
- Seeing rainbow-like ring: Whenever you see the light, you may find a rainbow-like a ring around the light which is a sign of glaucoma.
- A sudden headache: If you feel sever a headache with above other signs, then consider checking with a doctor.
- Severe eye pain: It is a warning sign of an acute glaucoma attack which needs emergency medical attention.
Detecting glaucoma in seniors
A complete vision analysis including
- Visual acuity assessment
- Visual field exam
- Dilated eye exam
These examinations help to determine an individual have glaucoma.
Tonometry helps to measures the visual pressure by managing cornea resistance to imprint. Normally it happens quickly without any pain in eyes.
The tests of visual field exam allow the vision analysis. The doctor may show you a series of objects and different location light flashes such as a computer screen. The visual acuteness test begins with the simple eye chart with tumbling E’s.
During dilated eye analysis the doctor will put the drops in eyes to widen the eyes which help to test the optic nerves and retina. The drops may make you feel blurry vision for many hours, but after some time you will be able to clear vision.
The-American-Academy-of-Ophthalmology suggests for eyes which includes
- Complete eye test for people who are under 40.
- Over 40 aged people require to have tested in every two to four years and yearly over 55 ages.
- The full test is suggested yearly for people who are aged 50 with a glaucoma family history.
Take regular tests for glaucoma
Glaucoma can result in irreversible blindness, and it doesn’t have any cure. But with the help of routine eye check-up, you can stop the disease progression. You can request your doctor to conduct the non-invasive test in the hospital to validate the developing disease, before blindness.
If you ignore having regular eye check-up, then you do not know glaucoma is increasing with time, and there is risk slowly developing which can make you experience total or partial blindness in the further life.
Will an individual with Glaucoma get blind?
If you have more intraocular pressure in eyes, then proper care and routine check-up you can help to slow down the vision loss. As there is no permanent cure, still you can reduce the symptoms of glaucoma. If the symptoms left untreated, then it will cause complete blindness which any treatment cannot restore.
People with a family history and with the risk of glaucoma, then you cannot prevent it. Self-care cautions and detecting the early signs can help to limit its progression and vision loss.
Regular eye care
A regular complete eye test can help to find glaucoma in the early stage before complete vision damage.
Generally, a person needs to have eye test after 40 age every four years, and after the age of 65 require tests in every two years.
You will require more frequent eye screening if you have any risk of developing glaucoma. Talk to your doctor to provide the right schedule for eye screening.
Moderate everyday exercise may help glaucoma by decreasing pressure on eyes. Check with your doctor to perform which type of exercise which can best suit your condition.
Use eye drops
If your doctor has directed any eyedrops, then don’t ignore it. During glaucoma, eye drops relief to stop the high pressure in eyes. Even if you not seeing any symptoms then also use the eye drops constantly.
Protect your eyes
A severe eye injury can cause glaucoma. You will require to wear eye protection while playing high-speed racket sports or using power tools.
When you find that your other family members have glaucoma than early prevention can be the best thing you can do to prevent the disease.
The principal purpose of glaucoma treatment is to lower the intraocular pressure to limit vision loss.
Generally, your doctor begins the procedure with eye drops directions. If eye drop treatment doesn’t work, then your doctor may prescribe the following treatments.
There is various medication which intends to reduce intraocular pressure in the eyes. These medicines found in the form of eye drops or pill but the drops are common. Your doctor may suggest a single or a combination of these medications.
If the condition becomes severe and intraocular pressure has blocked channels, then the doctor may suggest surgery to remove fluid or make way for drainage. The surgery may also remove the tissues which are blocking the fluid.
The angle-closure glaucoma treatment is different. This kind of glaucoma requires emergency medical treatment which helps to reduce eye pressure as much as possible. If medicine doesn’t work, then laser procedure requires to perform which describe as laser peripheral iridotomy. This method makes tiny holes in your iris which allow liquid movements.
Air pollution increases the risk of glaucoma
According to a recent study, the small particles in air pollution causes to increase glaucoma risk especially in people with genetic susceptibility. The air pollution particles such as black carbon increase the risk.
The researcher discovered that the old people with genetic variations who are sensitive to oxidative stress and have black carbon exposure from long-term causes to develop a link with high pressure in the eyes given in the study released in JAMA Ophthalmology.