Unnoticeable glaucoma

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As a disease of the optic nerve, glaucoma actually involves loss of the retinal ganglion. This eye disease is quite harmful but unnoticeable. During an interview on the network service of the Nigerian Television Authority, the media was urged to do more efforts. President of the Glaucoma Society of West Africa Mrs. Ade suggested that the public needs to be more aware of glaucoma. As one of the main causes of vision loss, this eye disease is often progressive and thus nicknamed as the “silent thief of sight”.

Glaucoma and blindness is closely linked

More specifically, glaucoma is the first leading cause of blindness in the United States and the second leading cause of blindness all over the world. Glaucoma has actually affected a large group of people in the world. Unlike other diseases, glaucoma can go unnoticed until a serious stage. After being noticed, the disease may have developed into blindness. This irreversible blindness is a disaster for every patient. Because of this strange feature, ordinary people should be furthered educated and informed about the disease.

Acute glaucoma and chronic glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma, namely acute glaucoma and chronic glaucoma. Also named as close angle glaucoma, acute glaucoma involves pains and develops very quickly. In contrast, chronic (open angle) glaucoma brings no pain and progresses slowly. Their names have reflected these features respectively. In detail, close angle glaucoma only accounts for 10 percent of total cases in U.S. and the other 90 percent is about open angle or chronic glaucoma. This verifies exactly the above saying that glaucoma is often unnoticeable.

Possible causes of glaucoma

Some factors are particularly associated with glaucoma. Race is one of them. Researchers have compared the rates of glaucoma in different races. It is said that black race or Africans are the most vulnerable to glaucoma. Further studies are on the way to provide a reason explanation of this phenomenon. There are some other possible causes of glaucoma, e.g. diabetes mellitus, previous ocular injuries, myopia and so on. People with one or several of these conditions are more likely to have glaucoma. Natural aging is also one of the main reasons.

Glaucoma diagnosis and treatment

Glaucoma has some unnoticeable symptoms, such as intracellular pressure, gradual and painless loss of vision and so on. In old individuals, glaucoma always causes blurry vision. Today, most eye doctors will screen the patients’ eyes for glaucoma as part of a standard eye exam. Other steps for glaucoma diagnosis include intraocular pressure measurement, eye size measurement and shape measurement. Until now, glaucoma is incurable. Fortunately, this disease can be controlled using various drugs and medications. In some cases, laser and conventional surgeries are performed to treat glaucoma, but they are just a temporary solution. These treatments can keep the eye pressure at a low level.