Can Glaucoma Be Prevented?
In the USA Glaucoma is the second largest reason for vision loss. It has affected more than 3 million people in the USA. Gluacoma is a group of diseases that result in damage to the optic nerve because of high pressure that is inside the eyeball.
Your optic nerve is like one of those big cabels that actually carries/transfers nerves, this transfers what you see from the retina to your brain. As your optic nerve becomes damages/ deteriorates, then blind spots will develop in what you see *your visual field. It will start with your peripheral vision (unlike AMD, which actually starts right in the center of your vision field). DO NOT LEAVE ANY SMPTOMS UNTREATED, Glaucoma can lead to blindness in both eyes!
Types of Glaucoma
Andrea Bocelli, the very famous opera singer, and Ray Charles,who we have all come to know and love, the very famous R&B singer, both of these amazing musicians have developed glaucoma in their childhood, and so, both of these talented men are blind from this disease. Childhood glaucoma (also known as congenital glaucoma) is usually diagnosed within the first year of life. It is a rare condition that may be inherited and is caused by incorrect or incomplete development of the eye’s drainage canals during the prenatal period.
Primary glaucoma is the most common form.
And then, to make it complicated, Primary glaucoma can be divided into two types: open angle and closed angle. Open angle is the type seen most frequently in the United States. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), it occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time. It is usually detected in its early stages during routine eye examinations. And that is why you MUST see an eye doctor on a regular scheduled basis.
Closed angle glaucoma, also called acute glaucoma, has a sudden onset in people with anatomically narrow angles. It is characterized by severe eye pain and blurred vision. According to the GRF, eye pressure increases very quickly because “the drainage canals get blocked or covered over” with closed angle glaucoma.
The Thief of Sight
Glaucoma is also known as “the silent thief,” because it can slowly steal your sight with no warning signs, until a fair bit of damage is done.
According to Prevent Blindness America, risk factors for developing glaucoma include:
- Age: People aged 40 and older are more likely to develop glaucoma.
- Family history: Those with parents or siblings who have glaucoma are more likely to develop the disease.
- Race: People of African or Afro-Caribbean heritage are four to five times more at risk for glaucoma than the rest of the population and are more likely to develop it at an early age.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
- Myopia: People who are very nearsighted are at greater risk.
Now, there actually is an upside because, only a small number of people with glaucoma will lose their sight. There is no cure, but, because of advanced technoligy, it is much easier to detect.
Prevention and Treatment
So far, there are no known cures. As with any disease, step one for me would be:
IMPROVE LIFESTYLE, AND, TAKE NUTRIENTS, AND EXERCISE.
The best you can do is: PREVENTATIVE, which means, see your doctor on a regular scheduled time.
I know off one family, where one of the children are totally, legally blind, and the rest of the family has deteriorated vision, some memember only a little, and some quite a lot. These are hereditary cases.
On another side, my business associate friend was diagnosed with glaucoma in her 60′s … and the doctor assured her she will not go blind with it.