What is glaucoma and how can you avoid it?
January is National Glaucoma Awareness month, and we’re sharing all the information you need to know about the eye disease, plus steps you can take to prevent and treat it.
Glaucoma affects roughly 400,000 Canadians and 67 million people worldwide, and is one of the leading causes of blindness. Educating yourself about glaucoma and understanding the many risks associated with it is an important step to help protect and preserve your eye health.
What is glaucoma?
Simply put, Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that progressively degenerate the optic nerve, leading to loss of nerve tissue and potential blindness. The cause of these diseases is not entirely known, though some theories point to inadequate blood supply or poor perfusion, which is the passage of fluid through the circulatory system.
Typically, glaucoma arises when the eye is no longer draining fluid properly. This is due to an inefficient draining system slowing down the rate at which fluid leaves the eye, resulting in fluid buildup and increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eyes.
The pressure damages the eye’s optic nerve function, which can result in visual field loss or blurry vision. The vision loss will usually first appear in the peripheral vision, a warning sign that glaucoma may be present or on the horizon. The good news is, routine eye exams can usually determine if glaucoma Glaucoma was replaced with “this eye disease” as a result of excessive use of KW is present long before any vision loss is noticed by the patient.