What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma refers to the group of eye diseases that in the majority of cases are almost asymptomatic or if any symptoms appear at all, they can be easily ignored because they are something accepted for normal such as headache or eye pain.

In the end, however, the so-called Glaucoma can lead to severe damage to the optic nerve, which carries information in the form of a nerve impulse to the cortex part of the brain – the visual center.

In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher than normal intraocular pressure (ocular hypertension).

If untreated and the pressure is not controlled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and as the disease progresses it can lead to blindness.

Using a tonometer, the intraocular pressure is measured. Some tonometers are non-contact and the pressure measurement is carried out by means of an air jet that is directed to the eye, and in the other type – contact ones, light pressure is applied to the eye, and the eye surface is previously treated with special eye drops.

Glaucoma can completely deprive you of your sight. The photo below clearly shows how limited the vision is at a more advanced stage of the disease. In fact, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


The disease is often called the “silent thief of vision” because most types of this disease do not cause pain and in the initial stages, patients do not show any symptoms , until the loss of vision becomes noticeable.

For this reason, glaucoma often goes undetected until it has progressed to the point where the optic nerve is already irreversibly damaged and there are varying degrees of permanent vision loss.</p >

In acute angle-closure glaucoma, symptoms that appear suddenly can be – blurred vision, flashes of light, severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting.

If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to consult an eye doctor or go to the nearest emergency medical center so that measures can be taken immediately to prevent permanent vision loss.

A new medical study from May 2014 identifies obstructive sleep apnea and glaucoma, in which the intraocular pressure is normal, as a risk factor.

Other risk factors for the development of this eye disease in conditions of normal eye pressure are low blood pressure, impaired blood flow to the eye, other cardiovascular and blood diseases, as well as autoimmune diseases.

Types of glaucoma

The two main types of the disease are:

  • Chronic, also known as primary open-angle glaucoma
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma

“ Angle’ in both cases refers to the angle of drainage within the eye that controls aqueous outflow. Other varieties of the disease are:

  • Glaucoma with normal intraocular pressure
  • Pigmentary
  • Secondary
  • Congenital

Scientists from South Korea have discovered that sleeping on only one side can worsen health and provoke the development of disease.

They note that with this type of disease, people tend to sleep on the side of the affected eye, and this increases intraocular pressure, which accelerates the development of eye problems.

In the development of glaucoma, the optic nerve is in most cases damaged by high pressure in the eye, which leads to the so-called tunnel vision, in which the patient is able to see only the objects in front of him or, in an advanced stage, it reaches almost complete blindness .

Treatment of glaucoma

Treatment can be expressed in surgical or laser intervention of the eye or drugs depending on the stage of the disease.

Eye drops combined with medication in tablet form are initially prescribed to lower intraocular pressure.

Because the disease often occurs without clearly distinguishable symptoms, most patients do not take their prescribed treatment seriously and therefore the disease progresses and eventually a state of complete blindness is reached.

If you find that you cannot tolerate the eye drops that your eye doctor has prescribed, do not, under any circumstances, stop using them before you have discussed with him the possible possibilities of alternative methods of treatment.

Glaucoma prevention

Can it reduce the risk of developing it? British scientists have found that an active lifestyle, regular physical exercise and eating a healthy and varied diet significantly limit the risk of developing glaucoma as we age.

  • An active lifestyle

An active lifestyle not only improves general health, but also helps maintain eye health.

Regular exercise can improve blood circulation and reduce high blood pressure, which is one of the factors in the development of glaucoma.

  • Healthy and varied food

Eating a healthy and varied diet is another important factor in the prevention of glaucoma.

Incorporating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins, such as vegetables, fruits, fish and nuts, into your diet can help maintain eye health.

  • Regular medical examinations

Although an active lifestyle and healthy diet can help reduce the risk of glaucoma, regular medical examinations are essential.

Early detection and treatment of glaucoma can significantly reduce the risk of more serious vision problems in the future.

  • Avoiding stress

Stress can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems that can increase the risk of developing glaucoma. So it’s important to find ways to deal with everyday stress.

This can include practices such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or simply spending time outdoors.

  • Limit coffee consumption

Some studies show that a large amount of coffee consumed daily can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.

Although you don’t have to completely eliminate coffee from your diet, it’s a good idea to try to limit your consumption.

  • Don’t smoke

Smoking is associated with numerous health problems, including an increased risk of developing glaucoma. If you smoke, the best thing you can do for your eye health is to stop.

Glaucoma is a serious disease that can lead to vision loss if left untreated.

However, there are many ways we can take steps to reduce our risk of developing it.

Regular medical examinations, an active lifestyle, a healthy diet and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive coffee consumption can have a significant effect.

Let’s take care of the health of our eyes with the same care we treat the rest of our body.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button