Defining and Detecting Glaucoma, and What to Do About It
Glaucoma is when eye pressure builds and starts to damage the optic nerve. This potentially can be a serious problem so it is important that we deal with it and do not ignore it. Our health is extremely important and it is one of the greatest gifts we have from God.
Defining the Problem of Glaucoma
There are to primary types of glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma which is the most common. This one happens gradually when the eye does not drain fluid well and you get a similar effect like a clogged drain in your house. Because of the issue with the fluid the pressure builds up and starts to damage the optic nerve. This is painless and will cause no vision changes at first when it is developing. The other type is angle-closure glaucoma which happens when the iris is very close to the drainage angle in the eye. This is like a clogged drain and it can cause the pressure to build up very quickly. This is genuine emergency and you should call your ophthalmologist immediately or get to an emergency room.
Detecting the Problem of Glaucoma
With open angle glaucoma, there are no early warning signs and symptoms. Because it develops gradually it is not noticed until it has greatly progressed. The angle closure glaucoma has several symptoms. Those symptoms include hazy or blurry vision, appearance of rainbow colored circles around bright lights. Severe eye and head pain, nausea (accompanied by severe eye pain) and sudden loss of sight. Getting periodic eye exams is a good idea even when it seems your eye health is good. Ophthalmologists normally use what is referred to as an “air puff” test to check for high pressure inside your eye. You should have your corneal thickness measured using a relatively newer test called pachmyetry. This a more reliable indicator of the pressure inside your eye because the thickness of your cornea can significantly influence the readings on the air puff test. If you have thin corneas, the instrument may give falsely low readings and may miss the diagnosis of glaucoma. If you have thick corneas the air puff test can actually misdiagnosis you as having glaucoma despite the fact that you have normal eye pressures.
There are some practical steps you can take to decrease your chance of getting glaucoma. Lower your insulin levels and eat a good diet. Exercise on a regular basis and that will decrease your insulin levels. Taking lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega 3’s can all help. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in green leafy vegetables. You also want to avoid trans-fats in your diet and eat as healthy as possible.
Taking practical helpful steps today may help prevent problems tomorrow.