Glaucoma is the sneaky, silent thief of eyesight with millions of Americans who suffer but most don’t even know it yet. Almost half of vision can be lost without the person even noticing. January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, so it’s time to learn about this issue that can cause gradual vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Once diagnosed, eye drops or surgery may help.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a damaging condition of increased pressure within the eyeball. It is a group of eye disorders that involve damage to the optic nerves caused by increased pressure within the eyes called intraocular pressure. Early diagnosis and treatment helps to prevent blindness.
Types of glaucoma
Most glaucoma comes on in the elderly, but some experience early onset. The two main types are primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Both are marked by an increase of IOP intraocular pressure which is pressure on the inside of the eye. When the optic nerve is damaged despite the IOP being in normal ranges, it is referred to as normal tension glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma is when another disease causes or contributes to the pressure resulting in vision loss or damage.
Risks for glaucoma
Glaucoma usually occurs in older adults. It is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than other ethnic groups. Though, Asians and Hispanics are also at a higher risk. When intraocular pressure IOP is elevated, there is a higher risk, but elevated IOP by itself does not cause glaucoma. A family history of glaucoma increases your risk. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes increase risk of developing the disorder. Early onset issues are often caused by abnormalities that impede fluid drainage in the eye that some are born with.
Sign of glaucoma
Some signs of glaucoma include the reduction in peripheral vision, bulging eyes, excessive tearing, or abnormal sensitivity to light known as photophobia. A sudden increase in IOP may include blurred vision, halos around lights, severe eye pain, headache, or even abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
Regency Home Care Atlanta is here to help with glaucoma care to help keep the elderly who are suffering from it to stay as independent as possible. Contact us for more information on private duty nursing care in and around Atlanta. We are your partner in care to help with glaucoma and other senior concerns. We help with safe, reliable transportation to health-related appointments and procedures, running errands, preparing nutritious meals and so much more.