During the process of growing older and older, we get weaker and more prone to diseases and sickness. One of the most common among complications that seniors often encounter is Glaucoma, which is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. Needless to say, the elderly should pay more attention to this to avoid any further complications in the future.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. The optic nerve transmits images from the retina, which is the specialized light-sensing tissue, to the brain so we can see. In glaucoma, eye pressure plays a part in damaging the delicate nerve fibers of the optic nerve. When a significant number of nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots develop in the field of vision. Once nerve damage and visual loss occur, it is permanent. The majority of people often bypass these blind areas until much of the optic nerve damage has already occurred. If the whole nerve is completely destroyed, blindness occurs. As a matter of fact, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in seniors. Early diagnosis and treatment by your ophthalmologist are the most important things to prevent further nerve damage or loss of vision.
Symptoms and Signs
- Difficulty adjusting to dark rooms;
- Difficulty focusing on near or distant things;
- Squinting or blinking due to unusual sensitivity to light or glare;
- Alteration in color of iris;
- Red-rimmed encrusted or swollen lids;
- Recurrent pain in or around eyes;
- Double vision;
- Dark spot at the center of viewing;
- Lines and edges appear distorted or wavy;
- Excess tearing or “watery eyes”;
- Dry eyes with itching or burning;
- Seeing spots, ghost-like images.
Contacting your nearest health center or ask for immediate help if one of these symptoms occur:
- Abrupt loss of vision in one eye;
- Abrupt haziness or blurred vision;
- Appearance of halos or rainbows around lights.
Testing for Glaucoma
Take tests and check-ups frequently so that you will know whether you have Glaucoma or not.
Tonometry: Tonometry is the eye care process specialists carry out to determine the intraocular pressure (IOP), the fluid pressure inside the eye. It is a crucial test to determine if the patients are at risk of getting glaucoma. Most tonometers are calibrated to measure pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
Ophthalmoscopy: In other words, fundoscopy, is a test that allows doctors to take a look inside the fundus of the eye and other structures using an ophthalmoscope (or fundus cope). It is done as part of an eye examination and may be done as part of a routine physical examination.
Being old means that we need to take extra care of our health and strength and that we need to be fully educated and aware of the diseases and problems that may encounter due to aging. Pay a visit to the doctors frequently to attain further treatment and medications to avoid partially or completely losing your vision.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: April 4, 2017 | Last Modified: April 4, 2017
Glaucoma. http://kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/glaucoma.html. Accessed March 25, 2017.
What is Glaucoma and Why Does it Affect the Elderly? https://www.agingcare.com/articles/glaucoma-and-elderly-people-133337.htm. Accessed March 25, 2017.
Glaucoma Facts and Stats. http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/glaucoma-facts-and-stats.php. Accessed March 25, 2017.