The human eye as part of the five senses plays a magnificent role in relaying information between the body and its environment. The world without eyes is full of darkness, so thick that the hands could feel it. The sense of sight expands the world around us, allowing our minds to reflect on the beautiful sceneries the eyes have ever seen. Glaucoma is a thief of sight and is one of the leading causes of blindness. It is so silent and complicated that there is no treatment at a certain point.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optical nerves of the eyes dues to a build-up of extra fluid that increases the pressure on the eyes. It is prevalent among people of African and Asian descent. People in their 40s and above have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.
WHAT IS GLAUCOMA AND WHAT CAUSES IT
As stated earlier on, Glaucoma is an optical disorder that damages the nerves of the eyes. These nerves are responsible for transmitting impulses from the eyes to the brain where sight signals are interpreted. The eyes constantly produce a fluid called AQUEOUS HUMOUR which is responsible for nourishing and keeping the eyes inflated. As more aqueous humour is produced, the same quantity is drained through a portion of the eyes called DRAINAGE ANGLE. The above process keeps constant pressure on the eyes known as INTEROCULAR PRESSURE
In a situation where the DRAINAGE ANGLE is not functioning as expected, the rate of drainage is now slower than the rate of production of the aqueous humour. This means excess fluid will constantly and continuously mount up pressure on the eyes. As pressure rises on the eyes, the optic nerves are not able to much up with the build-up pressures leading to their damage. These nerves relay signals to the brain on sight, their damage creates blind spots in vision at the initial stages. At this stage, it is very difficult to notice it until many or all of the millions of nerve fibres die leading to total blindness.
TYES OF GLAUCOMAGLAUCOMAGLAUCOMAGLAUCOMA
There are two distinct types of glaucoma.
1. OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA: This is the commonest type of this disease, it is caused when the fluid on the eyes is not drained properly leading to pressures building up in the eye. This eventually leads to the death of the nerves. This happens slower in the absence of pain. This type does not affect vision instantly but eventually kills the nerves and causes blindness.
2. CLOSE ANGLE GLAUCOMA: This type of glaucoma occurs when the iris is extremely close to the drainage angle and as a result covers or closes it. When this happens, the pressure quickly builds up in the eyes because more aqueous humour is produced but there is no room for drainage. This typically leads to instant blurry, headaches, pains and vomiting.
WHO IS AT RISK OF GLAUCOMAGLAUCOMA
Glaucoma is prevalent among the aged population, that is forty years and above. These diseases can also be acquired through inheritance and also people with underlining conditions of diabetes and high blood pressure. Demographically, Africans and Asians are also in the risk zone. People with other eye complications are also at risk. Moreover, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting glaucoma. This is because of a condition called diabetic retinopathy which is a very common condition in the eyes of those with diabetes.
The risk increases when a patient has serious health conditions that affect body fluid pressure and content. Unmanaged blood pressure and sugar levels can increase the risk. There is also a need to also physically protect the eyes from mechanical damage from external objects. Also, stop disturbing the eyes when an object falls on them but rather visit the nearest health centre for an ophthalmologist to take a critical look at it.
TREATMENT OF GLAUCOMA
Glaucoma is irreversible and permanent damage to the eye nerves that causes blindness if care is not taken. Research shows that glaucoma is among the top five causes of blindness in the world. There is no treatment to correct the already damaged sits, but the damage can be halted at early stages. Further damages to the eye can be stopped when detected in the earlier stages. To prevent glaucoma from totally damaging the sense of sight, the ophthalmologist may either perform surgery on the eye or put on medication with constant monitoring.
In line with this, we are advised to visit The doctor at least once a year for checkups. This will help us know the conditions of our internet organs sense we can't see them with our eyes. The fact that glaucoma gives little or no signals at its early stages makes it more dangerous. It can start slowly and gradually damage the eyes, as at the point you begin to feel there is something wrong it is too late for treatment hence nothing can be done about it.
PREVENTION OF GLAUCOMA
Prevention they say is better than cure. Since there is no permanent treatment for Glaucoma, it re-echoes the need for constant check-ups as frequent as possible to know the state of our eyes. Sight tests perform during check-ups help the ophthalmologist easily detect damages or signs of glaucoma in the eyes. One detected treatment will be followed accordingly.
Glaucoma is indeed a silent killer and a leading cause of blindness in Africa and Asia and also among people of old age in society. The eye is a very important organ that we should not joke with because it has no alternative organ for its function. Glaucoma has no symptoms and over 50% of those with this disease don't know of it or have not even heard of it. There is a need to create more awareness so that a lot of people get to hear about the disease and the dangers associated with it.
2. https://www.nei.nih.gov › glaucomaGlaucoma | National Eye Institute
3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org › healthGlaucoma: Symptoms, Causes, Types & Treatment - Cleveland Clinic
4. https://www.nhs.uk › conditions › ..Glaucoma - NHS
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