Glaucoma is a dangerous disease which happen as a result of too much pressure in the eyes. It usually begins after the age of 40 and is a common cause of blindness. To prevent blindness, it is important to recognize the symptoms of this disease and get medical help immediately.
- Inability to see clear (blurred vision).
- Having a painful eye.
- The eyes becomes red (that is the redness of the eyes).
- Sudden vomiting.
- High blood pressure.
- Medicines (for example corticosteroids).
- Reduction of blood in flow to the optic nerve.
There are about two major forms of this disease. They are :
- Acute glaucoma : This starts suddenly with a headache or severe pain in the eyes. The eye becomes red and the vision also becomes blurred. The eyeball feels hard to the touch like marble. There may be vomiting. The pupil of the bad eye becomes bigger than that of the good one. If not treated very soon, it will cause blindness within a few days. In this case, surgery is often needed.
- Chronic glaucoma : The pressure in the eye rises slowly. Usually, there is no pain. But the vision is lost slowly, starting from the side and often the person does not even notice the loss. Testing the side vision may help detect the disease.
TEST FOR GLAUCOMA
- Have the person cover one eye and with the other look at an object straight ahead of him or her.
- Note when he or she can first see moving fingers coming from behind on each side of the head.
- Normally, the fingers are actually seen at the original position, that is behind on each side of the head.
- But in glaucoma, the finger’s movement is first seen more towards the front.
Persons who are over 40 years old or have relatives with glaucoma should have their eye pressure checked once a year.
If discovered early, treatment with special eye drops (pilocarpine) may help prevent blindness. Dosage should be determined by a doctor or a health worker who can measure the eye pressure periodically.
Drops must be used for the rest of one’s life. Also know that eye surgery is the surest form of treatment.