Glaucoma: Stay Informed and Preserve Your Eyesight
Stay Informed and Preserve Your Eyesight.
Glaucoma is a common eye disease in which fluid pressure inside the eyes rises because of slow fluid drainage from them, which may lead to peripheral vision loss and can progress to blindness.
People with Glaucoma often do not have symptoms until vision loss occurs, so regular eye examination are important. When symptoms are present, they include:
The following are the risk factors to be considered for Glaucoma:
- Advanced age - Older people are more likely to suffer from Glaucoma
- Corticosteroid use - For e.g., asthma patients who use steroids continuously are at a higher risk for Glaucoma
- Near sightedness / Far sightedness
- Past eye injury
- Diabetes - People with diabetes are at a higher risk of getting Glaucoma
- Family history of Glaucoma - If any of your elder family members suffer from Glaucoma, you are more likely to get it
- Elevated pressure within the eye
- High Blood Pressure - Suffering from high blood pressure increases the risk of Glaucoma
If you get any of the Glaucoma-related signs and symptoms, like cloudy, unclear vision, pain in the eye, redness and halos of light around objects, visit your eye doctor immediately. A few simple tests performed by the doctor on your eyes will help to check whether you have Glaucoma.
Your doctor will treat Glaucoma by prescribing you:
- Eye Drops
- Oral Tablets
- Laser Surgery Operations (or)
- A combination of eye drops and surgeries
The purpose of treatment is to prevent further loss of vision. This is important because vision once lost due to Glaucoma cannot be regained.
Putting eye drops in your eye may seem difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice.
Follow these steps:
- Wash your hands prior to using the eye drops.
- Remove the cap. Do not touch the dropper tip.
- Tilt your head back slightly.
- Pull your lower eyelid away from the eye to form 'pocket' by:
- Pulling the lower eyelid down with your index finger
- Pinching lid outward with thumb and index finger
- Hold the dropper tip directly over the eyelid pocket (You may wish to brace your hand against your face or forehead to keep it steady).
- Look up and let the drop fall into the pocket without touching the bottle to your eye or eyelid (to prevent contamination of the bottle).
- Close your eyes (do not blink) and apply pressure to the point where the lids meet the nose. Hold for two to three minutes.
- Before opening your eye, wipe unabsorbed drops and tears from the closed lids with a tissue. Then open your eyes.
- If you need to take more than one kind of eye medication at the same time, wait 3 to 5 minutes before using the second drop.
- Always keep the medicine in stock before it gets over.
- If more than one drug is used, wait for 5 minutes between dosages.
- If you miss one dose, do not increase the number or amount of medication taken the next time.
- Do not stop taking medication just because you have no symptoms.
- Take all prescribed doses.
- Remember to take medication with you when you travel.
- Ask your doctor about how to use eye drops properly.
- Treatment for Glaucoma requires a 'team' made up of both you and your doctor (ophthalmologist).
- Your doctor can prescribe treatment for Glaucoma, but only you can make sure to put your eye drops regularly.
- Do not change or stop taking your medications without first consulting your doctor (ophthalmologist).
- Frequent eye examinations and tests are important to monitor your eyes for any changes.
Remember! with glaucoma, time is the enemy. So don't wait. Talk to your doctor today.