Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that is unpreventable. It causes loss of vision and blindness in many seniors, which makes it a major public health problem.
This incurable eye disease has the following major types:
- Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
This is the most common type of glaucoma and is more prevalent in African Americans. Its risk factors are African ancestry, age, family history, and diabetes. This glaucoma type develops slowly and sometimes happens unnoticeably.
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma
This type of glaucoma occurs when the iris bulges. The bulging iris partially or completely blocks the drainage angle, making fluid circulation through the eye impossible, and increasing eye pressure. Its risk factors include Asian or Inuit ancestry, age, high intraocular pressure, and family history.
- Secondary Glaucoma
This typically happens as a side effect — secondary to another medical condition. It happens due to diabetes, other eye diseases and infections, and the use of corticosteroids.
- Congenital Glaucoma
Glaucoma does not only happen in the elderly, though. Primary congenital or childhood glaucoma is a rare condition that may be inherited or caused by incorrect fetal development of the eye’s drainage system. It occurs in babies and is often diagnosed within the first year of life.
People with glaucoma experience intense pain in the eye, headache, nausea, sensitivity to light, gray hazy, or cloudy cornea, and blurry vision or blind spots.
Eye drop medicines and oral medications are the most common treatment for symptom relief.
Surgery is not usually the first step to treat glaucoma, but it may save your eyesight if other treatments do not work. Surgical procedures can help lower eye pressure, help drain fluid out of the eye, or create drainage. Your doctor will perform laser surgery at first, but do a traditional operation if the initial laser surgery did not work.
These treatments will help save your eyesight but not cure glaucoma itself.
Is your senior loved one dealing with poor vision or blindness caused by glaucoma? You can hire a professional here at Personal Care Services MidSouth when they need a companion and assistant.