Glaucoma: A Silent thief of your Sight

By Irshaad Gangat

World Glaucoma week is commemorated on March 8 -14. Many forms of glaucoma exist and have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage. One of the best ways to detect glaucoma is during a routine eye examination.

Glaucoma is a condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It develops slowly and often without any noticeable symptoms. Glaucoma is often linked to a build-up of pressure inside your eye and tends to run in families. You usually get it later in life, and is the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.

Glaucoma affects adults over 40, but young adults, children and even infants can get it.

Risk factors include:

  • Are you over 40 years old
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Have diabetes and hypertension
  • Have had an injury to your eye or eyes
  • Have corneas that are thinner than usual
  • Have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or sickle cell anaemia
  • High levels of short sightedness

It is important to note that vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, it is important to have regular eye examinations that include measurements of your eye pressure so a diagnosis can be made in its early stages and treated early. If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. If you have the condition, you will need treatment for the rest of your life.

If you have a history of glaucoma history in your family or said yes to more than 3 risk factors, book an eye examination with your local optometrist or healthcare provider and make sure you care for your healthy eyes.

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