Protect Against Glaucoma, the Sight Thief

Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of blindness, affecting more than two million adults in the United States. People call it the sight thief for one reason: glaucoma can cause major damage to the eye even before the disease is even noticed.

Glaucoma comes in many forms, but the most common form is chronic open angle glaucoma. Chronic open angle glaucoma most often happens in the middle-aged population and tends to be genetically connected. Approximately, 1 in 5 people that have glaucoma have a family member with the condition.

Usually people think of the eye as a sealed capsule of liquid, which is wrong. The eye essentially acts as a shower with a drain. It makes and drains out the liquid that is named aqueous humor. When new aqueous is made from cells contained in the eye, the liquid from before is poured out into a draining path named the trabecular mesh work. In the event that the rate of flowing liquid does not stay the same as the rate that the old liquid is flowing out, the pressure contained in the eye will slightly increase. Constant pressure onto the fragile retinal nerves as well as the optic nerve can cause the loss of vision forever. This is glaucoma.

The damage glaucoma inflicts can not be changed. Most of the time peripheral vision is first to go, but if glaucoma is not found first, glaucoma could soon cause loss of vision in the center of the eye also.

Glaucoma comes in many forms. Glaucoma’s forms all bear the same outcome though, permanent damage on the retinal as well as optic nerves. Regular visits to your eye doctor are important for all ages, but even more so for the elderly. Glaucoma is a silent disease that can go unnoticed for a long time. Prevention and early detection can arrest this thief before it steals a precious piece of your health — your sight!

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