Glaucoma Symptoms You Need to Know and How to Treat Them

Glaucoma is a class of eye diseases that can harm the optic nerve and, if left untreated, result in blindness. Many forms of glaucoma are asymptomatic. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice something’s off with your vision until the condition is in its later stages. However, some forms of glaucoma do have noticeable symptoms in the early stages. 

Visiting your doctor regularly and having eye checkups to measure ocular pressure is important. If you are diagnosed with the disease, you will require treatment and regular monitoring for the rest of your life, as the condition may not be cured but controlled when you order drugs from Canada. In this blog, the experts from the best Canadian online pharmacy will discuss the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of glaucoma. 

What Are the Risk Factors of Glaucoma? 

Most forms of glaucoma are asymptomatic. They can cause damage to the optic nerve and vision before you notice any symptoms. So, it is crucial to be aware of the following risk factors:

  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, migraines, and sickle cell anemia
  • Raised intraocular pressure
  • Aged more than 55 years
  • Corneas that are thin in the center
  • Heritage 
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Eye injury or certain kinds of eye surgeries
  • Taking corticosteroids, especially eye drops, for an extended period 

What Are the Different Types of Glaucoma and Their Symptoms?

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This is the most common type of glaucoma, which occurs when the drain in the eye is compromised and does not drain fluid properly, resulting in the build-up of ocular pressure. This form of glaucoma progresses very gradually, is asymptomatic, and is quicker in one eye than the other. The first symptom of open-angle glaucoma is the loss of peripheral vision. Generally, it is hard to notice the symptoms until the vision damage is significant. 

Normal-Tension Glaucoma 

According to the National Eye Institute, around 33% of people with open-angle glaucoma have normal-tension glaucoma, which happens when the ocular pressure level is considered normal. Similar to open-angle glaucoma, this form of glaucoma is also rarely symptomatic. However, when it becomes advanced, the patient will notice changes in their vision, starting with loss of peripheral (side) vision. 

Angle-Closure Glaucoma Symptoms

This type of glaucoma happens when the iris is not as open as it should be. This usually happens as you age and the eye lens gets larger. This condition occurs suddenly and causes a very dramatic increase in the ocular pressure. Its symptoms are noticeable, and the damage occurs quickly, too. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma symptoms may include blurred vision, severe headache, redness of the eye, halos around lights, and eye pain. It may also cause nausea and vomiting. However, rarely, it can also happen gradually over time. This is called congenital glaucoma and is usually asymptomatic until significant damage to the vision occurs. 

Congenital Glaucoma 

According to the NEI, about one out of 10,000 babies born in the US has a defect in the eye called congenital or childhood glaucoma that prevents fluid from draining normally. The symptoms are usually noticeable after the child is born. They may include increased blinking, headache, light sensitivity, cloudy eyes, extra tear production, and, in some cases, eyes larger than usual. Vision can be preserved if the child undergoes surgery in the early period. 

Secondary Glaucoma 

It is a condition characterized by increased intraocular pressure caused by other conditions or a complication of another eye disease. Symptoms may include severe headache, pain and redness in the eyes, nausea and vomiting, gradual loss of peripheral vision, and visible halos around lights. Once these symptoms arise, it is crucial to seek immediate medical assistance, as secondary glaucoma may cause blindness if left untreated. 

How Glaucoma Is Diagnosed? 

A raised ocular pressure doesn’t typically mean that you have glaucoma. Some people with normal pressure can also have the condition, whereas individuals with higher-than-normal levels may not. Having higher pressure without any damage to the eyes is called ocular hypertension. Individuals with this condition may have to get their eyes tested more frequently. Tests for diagnosing glaucoma are usually simple, painless, and don’t take much time. They include:

  • Dilated eye exam for inspection of the optic nerve. 
  • Gonioscopy to check the drainage angle where your cornea and iris meet. 
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) to look for changes in the second cranial nerve. 
  • Tonometry to measure ocular pressure. 
  • Pachymetry to check the density of the cornea
  • Slit-lamp examination of the inside of your eye
  • Visual acuity tests
  • Perimetry to look for changes in the peripheral vision.

What Are the Best Treatments for Glaucoma? 

Even if glaucoma can’t be cured, it can still be controlled using medicines, usually prescribed eye drops, laser treatment, and surgery. If you are diagnosed with the disease, it is essential to start the treatment immediately. Treatment won’t cause any damage to your optic nerve and vision, but it will prevent more damage from occurring.

  1. Medicines: Prescription drops are the most commonly used treatment option for reducing ocular pressure and protecting the optic nerve from damage. Occasionally, oral systemic drugs may also be used. Order genuine medicines from a reputable online pharmacy to ensure safe and efficient use if you want to buy drugs from Canada online. 
  2. Laser treatment: Doctors may use lasers to reduce pressure in your eyes and help fluid drain out of your eye. Lasers work the same way as medications. 
  3. Surgery: In some instances, when medications and laser treatment are ineffective in relieving symptoms, your doctor may suggest surgery. Several types of surgery can help drain the fluid out of your eye. 

Many times, glaucoma therapy may include a combination of medicines such as Lumigan eye drops, laser treatment, and surgery. However, unfortunately, the vision loss caused due to glaucoma cannot be reversed. 

Conclusion 

Since many glaucoma forms are asymptomatic until later stages, which can result in vision loss and blindness if left untreated, routine eye exams are essential for the early detection of glaucoma. Surgery, laser therapy, and prescription eye drops are among the treatment options that can help manage the condition and stop additional optic nerve damage. Even though vision loss from glaucoma cannot be cured, early detection and appropriate treatment can help protect residual vision. Effective glaucoma management requires consistent treatment and routine monitoring.

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