World Glaucoma Week 2021
Glaucoma is a group of related eye disorders, resulting in progressive damage to the optic nerve of the eye. The major risk factor is intraocular pressure (IOP) that, when sufficiently elevated, will damage the optic nerve.
It is the most common cause of irreversible blindness and in many cases, it may be asymptomatic, meaning it shows no symptoms. Half of those living with glaucoma are unaware that they are affected.
Chronic glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, it occurs when the aqueous fluid can get to the drainage channels (open-angle) but they gradually become obstructed over the years. The eye pressure rises slowly and there with no pain to show there is any kind of problem, but the field of vision gradually becomes impaired.
In acute glaucoma, the pressure in the eye rises rapidly. This is because the periphery of the iris and the front of the eye (cornea) come into contact so that aqueous fluid is not able to reach the tiny drainage channels in the angle between them. This is sometimes called closed-angle glaucoma. Acute glaucoma is usually painful.
In the early stages of chronic glaucoma, there are frequently no explicit symptoms and whilst increased pressure in the eye may be a sign, this will not necessarily mean the disease is present. The most efficient detection method for glaucoma is by regular eye examination since there are fewer early warning signs than other major eye diseases. Those most inclined to developing glaucoma are people over 60 and people with a family history of the condition.
Is important to get checked for glaucoma at least every 2 years, since the earlier the diagnosis the less damage will be done and the more vision will be saved!
Infographic credits: World Glaucoma Week, an initiative of the World Glaucoma Association (WGA)