Keep an eye out for glau­coma

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - YOUR HEALTH -

GLAU­COMA is one of the lead­ing causes of blind­ness world­wide.

The most com­mon type of glau­coma, pri­mary open- an­gle glau­coma, has no no­tice­able signs or symp­toms ex­cept grad­ual vision loss. It hap­pens when chan­nels are par­tially blocked, caus­ing fluid to drain out of the eye too slowly and build­ing up pres­sure within the eye, dam­ag­ing the op­tic nerve.

Acute an­gle- clo­sure glau­coma de­vel­ops rapidly and symp­toms are of­ten se­vere, in­clud­ing in­tense pain and red­ness of the eye, headaches and see­ing ha­los or “rain­bow- like” rings around lights. It oc­curs when the iris bulges for­ward to nar­row or block the drainage an­gle formed by the cornea and the iris, block­ing fluid from ex­it­ing the eye and in­creas­ing pres­sure abruptly.

Sec­ondary glau­coma is caused by other con­di­tions or eye in­jury such as uveitis ( in­flam­ma­tion of the mid­dle layer of the eye) but can be eas­ily con­fused for symp­toms of other con­di­tions.

Nor­mal- ten­sion glau­coma is caused by dam­age to the op­tic nerve de­spite eye pres­sure re­main­ing within nor­mal range. This may be due to a sen­si­tive op­tic nerve or lack of blood be­ing sup­plied to your op­tic nerve, though its true cause is not well un­der­stood.

Chil­dren some­times dis­play symp­toms of de­vel­op­men­tal glau­coma such as large eyes, high sen­si­tiv­ity to light, cloudy ap­pear­ance to their eyes and wa­tery eyes, among oth­ers.

It is caused by an­gle block­ages or mal­for­ma­tion or de­vel­ops as a re­sult of other con­di­tions such as sec­ondary glau­coma.

Do not wait for no­tice­able eye prob­lems be­fore seek­ing a doc­tor. Reg­u­lar eye ex­am­i­na­tions are the key to de­tect­ing and treat­ing glau­coma early.

It is rec­om­mended that all adults have a com­pre­hen­sive eye check at 40 years old and ev­ery three to five years af­ter that if you do not have any glau­coma risk fac­tors.

If you have other risk fac­tors or you are older than 60 years old, you should be screened ev­ery one to two years.

The goal of glau­coma treat­ment is to lower pres­sure in your eye ( in­traoc­u­lar pres­sure). To treat your con­di­tion, doc­tors may lower your eye pres­sure, im­prove drainage of fluid in your eye or lower the amount of fluid pro­duced in your eye by us­ing eye­drops, oral med­i­ca­tions or surgery.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 03- 4022 6222 ( KL) or 03- 7804 4051 ( PJ).

Get­ting your eyes checked reg­u­larly is key to early de­tec­tion and treat­ment of glau­coma.

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