Eye Matters
March 19, 2010
Glaucoma in a Nutshell

Glaucoma is best defined as a group of eye diseases that gradually steal your sight without any warning. Usually in the early stages of the disease, they are no symptoms. It is estimated that at least half of the people afflicted by this disease may not even know it.{{more}}

People with highest risk for glaucoma are: people of african origin, family members of a glaucoma patient, people over a certain age group, steroid users, people with injury to the eye and people with elevated eye pressure.

Other risk factors may include, diabetes, hypertension, high myopia (nearsightedness), a central corneal thickness less than 0.5mm.

They are two main types of Glaucoma: primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle closure glaucoma.

The main reason why people go blind with this disease is because of damage to the optic nerve.

Not only people with high eye pressure have Glaucoma, people with normal or low eye pressure can also develop Glaucoma.

There is no known cure for Glaucoma. However, the use of medication and surgery can help to slow down or prevent further vision loss.

Detecting the disease early is crucial for stopping its progression.

It should be noted that there is no single test that is 100% effective in determining whether one has glaucoma or not. The diagnosis of the disease depends on many factors, some of which include the measurement of your visual acuity (evaluation of your central vision), Perimetry ( visual fields-evaluation of your peripheral vision), Tonometry (measuring eye pressure), Ophthalmoscopy (evaluation of the optic nerve and retina), Gonioscopy (evaluation of the anterior chamber angle), Optic nerve imaging and Pachymetry (which measures the thickness of your cornea).

Regular complete eye examinations help in the early detection of glaucoma. People at risk should check their eyes every year . Patients with already established Glaucoma should check their eyes every four months.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210