Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight. Most people with glaucoma do not register the symptoms and therefore it goes unnoticed in the beginning stages. According to the CNIB it is the second leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Regular eye exams are key in the treatment of glaucoma to thwart further damage and preserve sight. Although glaucoma is completely treatable early on it is not curable or preventable. In this essay I will examine what exactly glaucoma is, who is predisposed to get it, and the treatments available.
Glaucoma is a unilateral disease where the fluid pressure in the eyes is elevated because of improper drainage through the trabecular meshwork (causes of glaucoma). If glaucoma is left untreated it will cause optic nerve damage thus causing irreversible vision loss. Patients either have open angle glaucoma or closed angle glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma, or primary glaucoma, is the most common type. This is the sneaky glaucoma because most patients do not recognize the signs or symptoms and it is slow progressing (Nordqvist). Patients will visit their eye doctor with complaints of pressure and slight pain. By this time damage has already occurred. Closed angle occurs very suddenly. The patient will experience quick vision loss and extreme pain. Immediate medical attention should be sought (Nordqvist).
Many literary articles state that doctors do not know what the exact causes of glaucoma are. Although, they have been able to pinpoint certain groups of people that are predisposed to develop glaucoma. Any patients with a family history of glaucoma are immediately at a higher risk for developing the disease. Persons of African American decent are six to eight times more likely to develop glaucoma than a Caucasian person (What is Glaucoma?). There are higher rates among Asian and Inuit decent persons to develop glaucoma. Women are at three times the risk over the men to develop closed angle glaucoma (Dahl). Any patients...
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