Glaucoma – Early signs, Causes, Prevention, Treatments and Risks

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which can eventually lead to irreversible visual field loss. The optic nerve transmits visual information from the eye to the brain and is essential for good vision. High eye pressure is frequently associated with optic nerve damage. However, it can develop even with normal eye pressure.

Early signs of Glaucoma

Early signs of glaucoma are more common nearing the age 40, ordinarily you may notice some form of vision loss, more frequently in peripheral vision, also known as side vision or tunnel vision. If you notice vision impairment around the edges of your visual field, schedule a visit with your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Glaucoma can cause nausea, severe headaches, and vomiting, eye pain, blurred vision, eye redness and light halo effects. If you are noticing any of these symptoms, they may be early signs of glaucoma and specifically Angle-Closure Glaucoma. See your eye doctor immediately to ensure proper glaucoma testing.

Causes of Glaucoma

The fluid inside your eye is known as aqueous humor. This fluid will flow through a mesh-like channel out of your eye. The liquid accumulates if this channel becomes blocked or if the eye produces too much fluid. Experts aren’t always sure what is causing the blockage. Being aware of the different types of glaucoma will benefit you. Glaucoma can be inherited, which means it is passed down from parents to children.

How to Prevent Glaucoma

These glaucoma prevention tips can help you detect the condition through its early stages, slowing its progression and preventing high eye pressure and vision loss.

Routine Eye Exams

It is recommended, not only as a form of glaucoma testing but to be cognizant and proactive regarding any other underlying issues. Between the ages of 18 and 64, an eye exam every two years is advised, but it is strongly suggested that you book an annual eye exam. If you have a genetic history of glaucoma or diabetes, your eye doctor may advise you to schedule more frequent eye exams to make sure of no early signs of glaucoma.

Proper nutrition and diet

A list of foods that may help prevent the many types of glaucoma is constantly being refined by scientists. In short, maintaining a balanced diet is the best way to help your body fight glaucoma. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables instead of settling for your personal favorite any chance to be had. Different foods contain different vitamins and minerals, continuously staying on top of mixing up your fruits and vegetables every week will ensure you get a diverse range of these antioxidants. Having minimal ‘cheat’ days is suggested.

Exercising is key

Regular use of light exercise will benefit your overall health and wellbeing, studies have shown that moderate exercise such as jogging or walking three times per week or more can lower your eye pressure and help reduce most types of glaucoma. Although a great thing, you must continue to exercise in order to have the benefits of lowering eye pressure, but keep in mind what exercises to avoid as well if you have glaucoma. Therefore, moderate exercise on a routine basis is advised. Yoga can be beneficial, although it’s best to avoid inverted positions such as headstands and shoulder stands, as these may inflame the condition in all types of glaucoma. Talk with your doctor if you have specific questions or concerns related to starting moderate exercise.

Do’s and Don’ts when exercising with glaucoma

Glaucoma treatments

Eye drops

These either reduce fluid production in your eye or enhance its flow out, lowering eye pressure. Redness, stinging, blurred vision, allergies, and irritated eyes are all possible side effects from eye drops. Some glaucoma medications can harm your heart and lungs, due to the possibility of drug interactions. Inform your doctor about any other medical problems you are experiencing or medications you are taking and make sure to let them know if it’s difficult for you to stick to a regimen that includes two or three alternative eye drops, or if they have any side effects. They might be able to alter your treatment.

Over the counter medication

Your doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker after glaucoma testing. Medication like this can aid the slow build of fluid in your eye and increase the flow at which the fluid can drain.

Laser Trabeculoplasty

Laser trabeculoplasty is a procedure used to treat open-angle glaucoma. It utilizes laser light, which is directed at the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is a network of tiny channels through which fluid drains out from the eye. The laser’s energy allows fluid to drain more smoothly from the front of the eye and helps lower your eye pressure.

Glaucoma risk factors

Pay attention to any early signs of glaucoma as it can affect anyone. You may have a higher chance of developing one of the many types of glaucoma if:

  • You have a family history of glaucoma.
  • You are over 40.
  • You have a cornea with a thin center.
  • You have an optic nerve that is thinning.
  • You suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, or migraines.
  • Are of African, Asian or Hispanic descent.
  • You have had previous eye injuries.
  • You have nearsighted or farsighted vision.
  • You take steroid medication for prolonged periods.


Nick Trent
Wellneste Editorial Team

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