Glaucoma Symptoms & Treatment
Why? Because even if youve never had an eye problem in your life and think a trip to the eye doctor would be a complete waste of time and money, you might be one of the 2 million Americans who have glaucoma and dont know it. And, this disease is responsible for 12 percent of all cases of blindness.
Glaucoma, which can be inherited, results from abnormally high pressure inside the eyes. The disease has an insidious characteristic: there are often no glaucoma symptoms in the early stages, and many sufferers do not display the aching ayes, dull headaches, blurred vision or appearance of halos around lights that are indications of the disease. Decreased peripheral vision a common symptom usually means that the condition has already progressed to a perilous degree.
A device called a tonometer is used to test for the illness. Its placed against the cornea and registers the amount of pressure built-up inside the eyeball. Its not an infallible method, so the ophthalmologist may conduct further examinations to check the retina and the section of the eye chamber where the iris and cornea are joined. The tests are routine and fast.
In 90 percent of cases, Glaucoma treatment involves medication, if its discovered at an early stage. If you are over forty years old when glaucoma normally strikes a yearly eye exam should be a must.
Robin Westen is ThirdAges Medical Reporter. Check for her daily updates. She is the author of Ten Days to Detox: How to Look and Feel a Decade Younger (Bantam/Dell)
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