Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Glaucoma is a disease found in the optic nerve and occurs when these nerves are damaged. The damage to these nerves first causes blind spots in side or peripheral vision. If it is left untreated, further damage will occur and cause less field of vision, lead to tunnel vision and eventually cause blindness. Blindness will rarely occur if treatment is provided early.

In many people, damage to the optic nerves is caused from increase pressure in the eye. Damage may be caused in other people because of poor blood supply going to the optic nerve fibers, weak nerve structure or health problems of the fibers.

Glaucoma cannot be cured but typically be controlled so further damage is either stopped or slowed. There are now many different treatments available for controlling glaucoma and usually include life-long treatments as well as regular check-ups. The most appropriate and safest option is decided by an eye specialist and based on a person’s needs and glaucoma type.

Options for Glaucoma treatment

1. Eye drops. This is the most common type of treatment and prescribed by an eye specialist. The type used is determined by the glaucoma type and the person’s needs. The goal of eye drops is to lower pressure which in turn slows glaucoma progression.
2. Laser treatment. This is a minor surgery where blockages are opened. This is performed when eye drops are not able to slow down the field of vision deterioration. This type of treatment requires local anesthesia and a hospital stay.
3. Surgery. Surgery involves creating a new channel for fluid to drain from the eye. This typically reduces eye pressure and sometimes no further medicine is needed. Surgery for glaucoma is usually only performed when eye drops and laser are not able to control the pressure in the eye.

Glaucoma is found to be more common as we age, but can occur at any time. Everyone over the age of 40 needs to be checked for glaucoma every five years. With those with a history of glaucoma in the family, they need to be checked more frequently

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