Glaucoma and the Painful Truth

Would you be surprised to know that there are more than four million people in this country affected with glaucoma? Additionally, there are more than 70 million people around the world affected with this disorder? Research says that glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. The two main types of eye disorders are opened angle glaucoma and acute closed angle glaucoma.

The first type, open-angle glaucoma, is less painful and less damaging to the eye. In most cases, there are no symptoms associated during the early stages of open-angle glaucoma. Prolonging the treatment needed for open-angle glaucoma can have painful results though. Pressure in the eye increases slowly until eventually, damage to the optic nerve causes symptoms such as loss of the peripheral vision. Once the condition reaches an advanced stage, vision gradually becomes impaired.

Typically, you can live a pain free existence with glaucoma unless you have acute closed angle glaucoma, or sometimes known as angle-closure glaucoma. Acute closed angle glaucoma is the more painful type and is caused by an accumulation of fluid in the eye’s drainage system. In this case, it’s vitally important to know that medical emergency is necessary, if an acute glaucoma attack happens.

Do not delay emergency treatment with acute closed glaucoma because doing so could cause blindness. The symptoms for this type of glaucoma come on very quickly and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. You will experience sudden pain and blurred vision. Some other painful symptoms are severe headaches and a sick and faint feeling. Light can also cause pain or discomfort to your eye to where you become intolerant to it. But, whatever the symptoms are, the rapid progression of fluid in the eye is what contributes to the build-up of pressure and pain in the eye.

If you think you have glaucoma, you should see an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist for proper diagnosis and screening. During a routine check-up of the eyes, the doctor checks for abnormal levels of pressure in the eyes. Early diagnosis starts with a plan for successful treatment, which includes eye drops or oral medications to regulate the pressure inside of the eye. If the diagnosis happens to reveal advanced stages of glaucoma, effective treatment can certainly help to prevent further damage to the vision of the eye.

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