Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that, if left untreated, can lead to permanent loss of vision. Going blind is indeed a frightening thought, yet many of us know very little about glaucoma.
Often referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’ the condition remains undiagnosed in about 50 per cent of the cases.
Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain becomes damaged as a result of which pressure builds up in the front area of the eye. If it is unchecked, it can cause irreversible damage to your vision. Therefore, it becomes essential to diagnose and treat glaucoma early.
With that in mind, there are a lot of myths associated with glaucoma which you should know about:
The Condition Only Affects The Elderly
While it is true that chances of developing glaucoma increases as we age, as is the case with open-angle glaucoma which most commonly affects the elderly, it can affect people of all age groups, including young children. Congenital glaucoma affects babies, while children with eye diseases could have secondary glaucoma. However, the dominant segment of the population affected by glaucoma are in their 40’s.
Glaucoma is Symptomless
People with even a 6/6 eye vision can contract glaucoma. You may not realise it in the beginning as there is no noticeable change in your vision. However, symptoms start to appear in the form of weakening peripheral vision and slowly progress to more advanced glaucoma when you start witnessing more noticeable symptoms. Therefore, the only way out is to have routine eye checkups that can diagnose the condition before any noticeable visual loss has occurred. In case you are diagnosed with glaucoma, there’s no need to panic. A simple, painless procedure like ABiC glaucoma surgery can nip the problem in the bud.
It is Hereditary
While it is true that some forms of glaucoma are inherited, many glaucoma patients are the only ones in their family to have been diagnosed with this disease. It is also possible that all members of the family have not been adequately examined and strong family links are not established. So it’s best to have a family eye check up done.
It is A Treatable Condition
Once you suffer from this condition, it will cause blindness to some degree. It is for this reason that it is impossible to reverse any loss of vision that has occurred as a result of glaucoma and it cannot be cured. However, treatment can stop any further visual impairment. The condition can be arrested with eye drops that are prescribed by a registered ophthalmologist. Other surgical interventions include minimally invasive ABiC glaucoma surgery that could arrest the situation but cannot reverse it.
Glaucoma = Elevated Eye Pressure
While it is right to a certain extent that elevated eye pressure is a significant risk factor and one of the causes of glaucoma, some people with elevated eye pressure never have this condition. On the other hand, there are people with normal eye pressure, who have severe glaucoma.
You Should Not Treat an Untreatable Glaucoma
While it is true that most forms of glaucoma do not produce any symptoms, it could lead to complete loss of vision. Some treatments though, have side-effects and impact the normal quality of life, but it will slow down the progression of the disease along with a solution to minimise the unwanted effects. Further, the treatment does not completely guarantee that glaucoma will not worsen. It will only keep the eye pressure under a well-controlled condition where glaucoma will not progress further.
So, if you are worried about glaucoma, advice it is readily available. Just make sure you get it diagnosed at the right time.