What is Glaucoma??

[11/03/2012]

What is Glaucoma??

World Glaucoma Week is finally upon us and over the course of this week - eye care providers all over the world will be doing their part to increase awareness of this blinding condition!

Basics

Glaucoma describes a group of conditions which are characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve leading to blindness. The most common association with glaucoma is raised pressure inside the eye. There is a fine balance between the production of fluid (aqueous) and drainage and any imbalance which occurs results in alterations in the intraocular pressure.

There are many types of glaucoma but primarily can be divided into open or closed angle glaucoma. (See videos below for more information)

 



Who gets glaucoma?

In a nutshell, ANYONE can get glaucoma. It is more common in the elderly (above the age of 60 years) but there are children who can get it and younger adults are also not spared. Glaucoma can be hereditary and if a parent or sibling has this disease, the risk of developing glaucoma has been reported to be as high as 40%!

Symptoms

Glaucoma is not called the "silent thief of sight" for no reason - it literally "steals" your vision gradually and when symptoms of visual blurring occur, very often there is already advanced, irreversible damage to the optic nerve and chances of visual recovery are very slight. More on diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma in my next post. I leave you with a nice poem about glaucoma by Sylvanus Barnes.

 

BURGLAR ON THE PROWL?

By Sylvanus Barnes

There¡¯s a burglar on the prowl , And he¡¯s right around the cornea;

He¡¯s called ¡°the thief of sight,¡±? The ubiquitous glaucoma.

He¡¯s silent, he¡¯s invisible,? He¡¯s neither heard nor seen;

He¡¯ll smash your precious window?, If you disregard the screen.

He¡¯s a slippery, dangerous felon, And he needs to be arrested,

But it¡¯s up to you to do it;? Stop glaucoma, GET TESTED.