Glaucoma: Signs and Preventions

Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal decided to pursue studying Medicine because he want to cure his mother's glaucoma. Whenever I hear the word "glaucoma", it refers to an eye related disease.

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged in a characteristic pattern. It can permanently damage vision in the affected eyes and lead to blindness if left untreated. It is normally associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye or aqueous humour. 'Normal tension' or 'low tension' glaucoma is used for those with optic nerve damage and associated visual field loss but normal or low IOP.

The nerve damage involves loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern. There are many different subtypes of glaucoma, but they can all be considered to be a type of optic neuropathy. Raised intraocular pressure is the most important and only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma. Untreated glaucoma can lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve that lead to blindness.

Glaucoma has two main categories, "open angle" and "closed angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma.

The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid must flow to escape via the trabecular meshwork. Closed angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly, but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress at a slower rate and patients may not notice they have lost vision until the disease has progressed.

There are some beliefs that carrots and pumpkins cures glaucoma. It's not

How to avoid glaucoma:

Have regular eye examination:
This is the single best step that you can take to avoid glaucoma. If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, you should have a complete eye exam every other year. For those over 60, or in the high-risk category, complete eye exams are needed every year.

Treat elevated eye pressure immediately:
Once elevated eye pressure is diagnosed, use pressure-reducing drops will reduce the pressure by up to an average of 22 percent almost immediately.

Maintain a healthy weight:
Being overweight increases insulin resistance, which, in turn, has been shown to increases eye pressure. By maintaining a healthy weight, insulin resistance may decrease and eye pressure.

Maintain a healthy blood pressure:

High blood pressure has been linked to an increase in pressure in the eyes. Lowering blood pressure also lowers eye pressure, decreasing the risk of glaucoma.

Protect your eyes:
Wear eye protection anytime you are at risk of being hit in the eye, such as when using power tools or welding.

Philippine Glaucoma Society consisting of (in random order) Rainier Covar, MD, Jose Ma. Martinez, MD, Hannah Pia de Guzman, MD, Ma. Zita Meriale, MD, Manolito Reyes, MD, Ma. Imelda Yap-Veloso, MD, Mario V. Aquino, MD and Norman Aquino , MD were all present at Makati Shangri-La Hotel for the press conference of World Glaucoma Week

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