Fight For Sight
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Glaucoma

Description of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve, the part of our eye that carries the images we see to our brain. In the healthy eye, a clear liquid circulates in the front portion of the eye. To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, the eye continually produces a small amount of this fluid and an equal amount which flows out of the eye. If you have glaucoma, the fluid does not flow properly through the drainage system. Fluid pressure in the eye increases and this extra force presses on the optic nerve in the back of the eye, causing damage to the nerve fibres. Glaucoma is an extremely serious eye disorder which can cause blindness if not treated early.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

In the early stages of chronic glaucoma, there are frequently no obvious symptoms and whilst increased pressure in the eye may be an indicator, this will not necessarily mean you have the disease. With fewer early warning signs than other major eye diseases, the most efficient detection method for glaucoma is by regular eye examination. Those most prone to developing glaucoma are people over 60 and people with a family history of the disease.

Treatment of Glaucoma

While there is no cure for glaucoma and optic nerve damage cannot be reversed, the disease can be treated successfully and vision loss prevented by early detection. Treatment involves controlling the pressure in the eye as it is pressure which damages the optic nerve causing loss of sight.Acute glaucoma is treated by drugs to relieve pressure and may be followed by laser treatment or surgery to allow the fluid to drain. Occasionally, the blockage in the eye becomes permanent and needs the same treatment as chronic glaucoma. Chronic glaucoma is controlled by eye drops, or occasionally by tablets. Where vision continues to deteriorate, laser treatment or surgery to provide a drainage valve will be required.These procedures have a high success rate.

What the world looks like for a sufferer of Glaucoma

Glaucoma