Uncategorized | January 28, 2018
Glaucoma is a painless, yet serious disease since it can cause damage to the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain and enables vision. In fact, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and is often found in the elderly. Experts from home health care services have outlined the glaucoma risk factors, symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Glaucoma has several risk factors, with the greatest being the high pressure of the eye. A family history of glaucoma as well as shock, anemia, or steroid use is another risk. Other risks include eye issues such as previous injury, old age, thin corneas, and nearsightedness.
Of the five types of glaucoma, the most common is called open-angle glaucoma. It’s very important for the elderly to visit their ophthalmologist yearly because this type has no signs or symptoms besides a gradual decline, and vision changes need to be monitored.
One other type is called narrow-angle glaucoma, and it is serious enough to be considered a medical emergency. Some of the symptoms are eye redness, severe pain in the eye, blurry vision or seeing light halos, nausea, and vomiting. Seniors who experience these symptoms should have home health care services get them to a doctor right away.
In most cases, glaucoma occurs due to drainage problems of the eye. A buildup of fluid will lead to increased pressure inside the eye, which can press the optic nerve. High pressure over time can cause vision loss or even blindness. People with normal eye pressure can experience glaucoma if they have poor blood circulation to the optic nerve or a weakened nerve.
Doctors can treat glaucoma in a number of ways, but the most common treatment is the application of eye drops. Eye drops help to increase the outflow of fluids from the eye, as well as reduce fluid formation. Glaucoma eye drop side effects include redness, stinging, and irritation. Patients should let their doctors know about any allergies to medicine, and if the eye drops do not work they can be prescribed an oral medication.
Another option to treat glaucoma is laser surgery. Laser surgery can help increase eye fluid flow in people with open-angle glaucoma, or help stop fluid blockage for people with angle-closure glaucoma. Some of the different laser surgeries include trabeculoplasty, cyclophotocoagulation, and iridotomy.
Treatment for glaucoma can be done through changes in daily living at home. According to home health care services, seniors should eat a healthy diet of omega-3 fatty acids and dark leafy greens, get frequent exercise, and sleep with their head elevated.
Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, it can be controlled with an early diagnosis and treatment. A yearly trip to the ophthalmologist is crucial for eye health so seniors can experience their golden years with the reduced risk of blindness and a higher quality of life.