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Glaucoma: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Prevention and General Home Care of Glaucoma Eye

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition, characterized by an increase of pressure within the eyeball, called intraocular pressure. It is similar to high blood pressure in the body. The condition is therefore, also known as hypertension of the eye.

A certain amount of intraocular pressure is considered necessary, but too much can cause damage to the eye and may result in vision loss. Glaucoma is the major cause of blindness among adults today. One out of every eight blind persons is a victim of glaucoma. Far-sighted persons and more prone to develop this disease than near-sighted ones.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

The first symptom of glaucoma is the appearance of halos or coloured rings round distant objects, when seen at night. In this condition, the iris is usually pushed for­ward, and the patient often complains of constant pain in the brow region, near the temples and the cheeks. Headaches are not uncommon. There is gradual impair­ment of vision as glaucoma develops, and this may ultimately result in blindness if proper steps are not taken to deal with the disease in the early stages.

Causes of Glaucoma

Medical science regards severe eyestrain and pro­longed working under bad lighting conditions as the chief cause of glaucoma. But, in reality, the root cause of glaucoma is a highly toxic condition of the system due to dietetic errors, a faulty life style and the prolonged use of suppressive drugs for the treatment of other diseases. Eyestrain is only a contributory factor.

Glaucoma is also caused by prolonged stress and is usually a reaction of adrenal exhaustion. The inability of the adrenal glands of produce, aldosterone results in ex­cessive loss of salt from the body and a consequent ac­cumulation of fluid in the tissues. In the region of the eyes, the excess fluid causes the eyeball to harden, los­ing its softness and resilience. Glaucoma has also been associated with giddiness, sinus condition, allergies, diabetes, hypoglycemia, arteriosclerosis and an im­balance of the autonomic nervous system.

Diagnosis of Glaucoma

A physical examination of the eye may be used to diagnose glaucoma, but because intraocular pressure fluctuates, an examination at a low point would not reveal the condition. Examination of the junction of the optic nerve and the retina with an instrument called an ophthalmoscope is necessary.

A standard ophthalmic examination may include:

Retinal examination

Intraocular pressure measurement by tonometry

Visual field measurement

Visual acuity

Refraction

Pupillary reflex response

Slit lamp examination

Foods to be avoided:

Tea

Coffee

Beer and tobacco

Excessive fluids like juice, milk or water.

Prevention of Glaucoma

All adults need an eye exam that includes tests for glaucoma every three to five years. These tests are usually done by an eye doctor - either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. If someone in your family has had glaucoma or if you have other risk factors for glaucoma, your doctor may suggest that you have more frequent eye exams.

General Home Care of Glaucoma

Proper sleep and adequate rest.

Fresh air and outdoor exercises, especially brisk walks.

Various methods of relaxing and strengthening the eyes

Avoid excessive watching of television and excessive reading of books.

Avoid emotional stress.

When to call the doctor

If you have severe eye pain or a sudden loss of vision , especially loss of lateral (away from the middle) vision.



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