Glaucoma is not a single disease, but a group of disorders characterized by damage to the nerve (optic nerve) that connects the eyes to the brain. This results in irreversible loss of vision most usually due to increased pressure of the eye.

The pressure of the eyes helps to keep the eyes in shape. This pressure is maintained by the rate of production and drainage of fluid in the eyes called the aqueous humor. When the eyes have more of this fluid than it drains, the eye pressure increases, causing damage to the optic nerve.

Vision lost through glaucoma is IRREVERSIBLE.

Note the following:
1. An increased rate of production of aqueous humor without corresponding drainage will increase the eye pressure.
2. Resistance to the drainage of aqueous will increase the eye pressure.
3. If your eyes are dilated, you may risk an increase in your eye pressure if a certain part of your eyes called the anterior chamber angle is narrow.
4. Myopic patients are more prone to having increased eye pressure.
5. People with glaucoma in their families are more likely to have glaucoma.
6. The risk of glaucoma is higher in people above 40 years (though anyone can develop glaucoma, even newborns.)
7. Older females are more at risk than males of having glaucoma.
8. The number of those with glaucoma is marginally higher among hypertensive patients.
9. Strenuous exercise can transiently lower eye pressure.

DIAGNOSING GLAUCOMA

It is important that you visit an optometrist for a comprehensive eye check. Your optometrist will carry out some tests and determine whether you have glaucoma or not.

If your optometrist finds out that you have glaucoma, you will be placed on some drugs to help reduce the pressure. In some cases, surgery may be done on the eye.

REMEMBER: Glaucoma is a silent thief of sight, and vision lost through glaucoma cannot be regained. Early diagnosis is key. Glaucoma currently has no treatment. The drugs your optometrist will give you is to manage the condition to preserve the vision you have at the time of the visit.

CHECK YOUR EYES TODAY.

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