In general glaucoma cannot be completely cured, but it can be controlled.
Most treatments for glaucoma are designed to reduce or control the intraocular pressure (IOP), which can damage the optic nerve that transmits visual information to the brain.
Treatment for glaucoma depends on the severity of each case.
Glaucoma is often treated with eye drops that are taken several times each day.
The eye drops help the way the eye fluid circulates as well as lowers eye pressure, by decreasing the production of fluid within the eye or by increasing the flow leaving the drainage angle.
Glaucoma can worsen over time without you even being aware, so your treatment will likely change in order to help achieve a lower eye pressure.
Laser surgery is also effective for glaucoma treatment. There are two main types:
- Trabeculoplasty is a type of laser treatment that enhances eye drainage function and helps control eye pressure within the eye when treating open-angle glaucoma.
- Iridotomy is a laser treatment that makes tiny holes in the iris to help improve the flow of eye fluid to the drain when treating narrow angle.
If both the eye drops and laser therapy treatment have not been successful in lowering the eye pressure, your doctor might suggest an operative surgery to be performed.
With this surgery a new bypass drainage tunnel will be created using a microscope and specialized instruments, to help the eye fluid to leave the eye.
Each case of glaucoma is different and treated differently. Talking to your doctor can help you distinguish which treatment is best for you.
With any type of glaucoma, regular eye examinations are very important.
Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve.
The optic nerve, which is connected to the retina and is made up of many nerve fibers, is responsible for sending signals from your retina to your brain. These signals are interpreted as the images you see.
In a healthy eye, a clear fluid called aqueous humor circulates the front portion of your eye.
To maintain a constant healthy eye pressure, your eye continually produces a small amount of aqueous humor while an equal amount of this fluid flows out and leaves your eye.
If you have glaucoma, the aqueous humor does not flow out of the eye in the way that it should. Fluid pressure in the eye builds up and, over time, causes damage to the optic nerve fibers.
If left untreated, Glaucoma can lead to vision loss and eventually can even lead to blindness.
Here are some of the factors that may put you at risk for Glaucoma…
- People over 60 are at increased risk for the disease.
- The risk of developing glaucoma actually increases with every year of age.
- African Americans have an increase risk beginning at the age of 40.
- African-Americans older than age 40 have much higher risk of developing glaucoma than do Caucasians.
- African-Americans also are more likely to experience permanent blindness as a result of glaucoma.
- People of Asian descent have an increased risk of developing acute angle-closure glaucoma.
- People of Japanese descent may be more likely to have normal-tension glaucoma.
Family history of glaucoma-
- If you have a family history of glaucoma, you have a greater risk of developing it.
- Glaucoma may have a genetic link, meaning there’s a defect in one or more genes that may cause certain individuals to be more susceptible to the disease.
- A form of juvenile open-angle glaucoma has been clearly linked to genetic abnormalities.
- Several conditions may increase your risk of developing glaucoma, including diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure and hypothyroidism.
- Previous eye injuries can also build up to Glaucoma.
It is recommended that you get regular eye exams. Early detection and treatment is the best way to minimize the risks of Glaucoma.
This holiday season eye safety may not be your foremost concern. However, this time of year can be dangerous for your eyes due to toys, sports and other potential hazards. Here’s how you can protect your precious sight during the holidays.
Christmas Tree Tips:
Who would think the eye-catcher and focal point of the season, the Christmas tree, could be the very thing to cause you injury? Christmas tree injuries are very common, and should be addressed.
- Wear eye-protective wear when cutting your tree.
- Hang glass ornaments out of reach for small children.
- Do not put gifts too far under the tree for small children.
- Be careful around the tree, especially when reaching for gifts to not be hit in the eye with a branch.
Toy Tips for Parents:
Children are so excited to open their gifts and play; the last thing on their mind is eye safety. Unfortunately, toy-related eye injuries are at an all time high in the holiday season according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most of the injuries are preventable.
- Supervise children with new toys they may not be used to operating.
- Avoid buying toys with sharp edges or projectile parts.
- Choose toys based on child’s age but most importantly, their maturity level.
- Explain proper use of toys to children before allowing them to find out alone.
Ready to Pop Champagne and Celebrate:
Social gathering, spreading the holiday cheer sounds like the ultimate plan. Adults, when ready to pop the champagne remember to be careful. No one wants to be hit in the eye with the cork.
- Remember to hold the cork down firmly with the palm of your hand while removing the wire.
- Use a towel and point it away from yourself and others.
- Keep the bottle at a 45-degree angle.
- Hold the cork down with the palm of your hand while you remove the wire hood.
Snow Glare while Driving:
Although, our Floridian patients do not need to worry about this, if you are traveling and driving in the snow always be cautious.
It is a misconception that sunglasses are only needed in the summer.
- Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses
- Keep windshield clean for smudges and particles that can distract clear vision on the road.
The holiday season is a joyous time of friends, family and food. Lets keep it that way by paying close attention to these eye-safety tips.
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As we gather with friends, family and loved ones it is important that we factor in their safety to help promise a safe, happy time.
No one chooses gifts with the intent to cause harm, but what many people do not realize when purchasing some popular children’s toys, is that is what can happen.
Each holiday season, toys and sporting equipment, that were meant to bring joy, are actually responsible for thousands of eye injuries to children?
But do not let that ruin the holiday spirit. These eye injuries are totally preventable!
Parents can keep their children safe by demonstrating the proper use of toys, purchasing age-appropriate toys and supervising them while in use.
Safe Toy Checklist:
- Read all warnings and instructions.
- Make certain children wear appropriate eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets).
- Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, or projectile-firing parts.
- Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction. Toys should be durable and able to withstand impact.
- Look for the letters “ASTM” which means the toys met the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Repair or replace damaged or defective toys.
- Try not to purchase flying toys. Bows, arrows, slingshots, and darts can be extremely dangerous.
- Check for age labels on the toys and be sure to choose toys that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.
- Do not give toys with small parts to young children. They tend to put them in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.
The Rand Eye Institute wants to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving Day filled with love, joy and happiness.
We would like to take this opportunity to Thank You! for choosing the Rand Eye Institute, for all your eye care needs.
Have a Safe and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
People who do have diabetes have a higher risk for blindness than people without it.
People with diabetes are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma than people without it. The longer someone has diabetes, the more common it is. Risk also increases with age.
Many people without diabetes get cataracts, but people with it are 60% more likely to develop them. People with diabetes also tend to get cataracts at a much younger age and have them progress faster. With cataracts the eyes clear lens cloud up and block light.
Diabetic retinopathy is a term used for all disorders caused by diabetes. There are two major types of retinopathy: non-proliferative and proliferated.
Non-proliferative Retinopathy: Is the most common type of retinopathy. This occurs when capillaries in the back of the eye balloon up and form pouches. Non-proliferated retinopathy can move through three stages (mild, moderate and severe) as more blood vessels become blocked.
Proliferative: In this form, the blood vessels are so damaged they close off and new vessels start growing in the retina. These new vessels are very weak and can leak blood, blocking vision. The new blood vessels can also cause scar tissue to grow. After the scar tissue shrinks, it can distort the retina or pull it out of place.
If you notice any changes in your vision, an appointment with your eye doctor should be scheduled, immediately.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes that affects the eyes and affects over 5.3 million Americans, 18 years old or older.
Diabetic retinopathy can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer that one has diabetes and the less controlled their blood sugar is, the higher they are at risk.
Patients with diabetes can prevent or slow the progress of diabetic retinopathy by taking prescribed medication to help maintain a healthy diet, exercising regularly, controlling high blood pressure and abnormal blood cholesterol levels, and avoiding alcohol and smoking.
If the disease does develop, significant vision loss can be avoided by monitoring aggressive blood sugar, pressure and cholesterol control. In addition, newer medications for retinopathy have recently been shown to be very effective for preserving, and sometimes improving vision.
There are several factors that can influences someone with diabetes to develop diabetic retinopathy. These include poor blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid control, the length of time they’ve had diabetes, race and family history.
African Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely to have diabetes.
If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly-dilated eye exam — even if your vision seems fine — because it’s important to detect diabetic retinopathy in the early stages.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness for Americans.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2,500 Americans become blind from complications of diabetes. About half of the nation’s estimated 16 million people show at least some signs of early diabetic retinopathy.
In diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels swell and begin to leak fluid into the retina. In some cases, abnormal blood vessels grow onto the retina. These vessels can even bleed onto the tissue and cause the retina to detach.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss/weight gain
- Increased hunger
- Lack of focus
- Numbness in the hands or feet
A group of eye problems can arise due to diabetes. Cataracts and glaucoma are only a couple of vision stealing side effects. If you have diabetes you may get cataracts at a younger age, and your chances of developing glaucoma doubles.
Although many people with diabetic retinopathy do not ever progress to the most serious form of the disease, frequent testing will help your doctor monitor the patient’s condition closely.
Since most people do not develop any visual impairment until the disease has progressed considerably, delaying an eye exam until symptoms occur can result in permanent loss of vision.