Sometimes Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight” because it often has no symptoms until damage has occurred. This fact makes it extremely important for seniors to have regular vision checkups. By the time you know you have it, damage has already occurred and the only option is to prevent further damage.
Stop glaucoma in its tracks! Read up on the disease, go to the eye doctor regularly and stay faithful to any treatment prescribed by your doctor.
There are two major types of glaucoma: “primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)” and “acute angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).”
In open-angle glaucoma:
- The angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is okay, but –
- The eye’s drainage canals become blocked over time, causing an increase in pressure in the eye, which leads to optic nerve damage that is irreversible.
Because there are no acute symptoms, the damage occurs silently and slowly.
In acute (or closed) angle-closure glaucoma, the angle between your iris and cornea is closed in places, and there
are more severe symptoms and more immediate damage, including:
- Hazy vision
- Severe pain in eye and head, often accompanied by nausea
- Rainbow-colored circles around bright lights
- Sudden sight loss
If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to have regular checkup and keep up with your medications in order to keep the disease from progressing.
Glaucoma is life changing, but there are organizations and tools that can help you to adjust to life with glaucoma. If you would like more information on how to live a better life while dealing with glaucoma-related health issues, talk to your doctor and also educate yourself on the disease. Here are a list of websites to get you started:
- Video illustration of glaucoma (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgjdPgSxeYg)
- Glaucoma Research Foundation (http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/are-you-at-risk-for-glaucoma.php)
- www.preventblindness.org (http://www.preventblindness.org/glaucoma)
- National Eye Institute (https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts)