The week of March 10 is World Glaucoma Week. How much do you really know about Glaucoma? According to American Optometric Association, Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that lead to progressive damage to the optic nerve tissue, resulting in vision loss. It is one of leading causes of blindness in Canada.
Glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve. As this nerve gradually deteriorates, blind spots develop in your visual field. For reasons that doctors don't fully understand, this nerve damage is usually related to increased pressure in the eye.
Elevated eye pressure is due to a buildup of a fluid (aqueous humor) that flows throughout the inside of your eye. This internal fluid normally drains out through a tissue called the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. When fluid is overproduced or the drainage system doesn't work properly, the fluid can't flow out at its normal rate and eye pressure increases. This increased pressure is responsible for the damage on the optic nerve, causing irreversible damage. Once the optic nerve is damaged, the brain can no longer receive information from the eye, leading to loss of vision.
There are 2 main types of Glaucoma:
1. Open-angle Glaucoma – This is the most common of all Glaucoma cases. It is characterized by a slow clogging of the drainage canals that typically prevent too much liquid from building up in the eye. Too much liquid results in increased eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve.
2. Closed-angle Glaucoma - It is caused by an acute blockage of the drainage canals of the eye, resulting in a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. Unlike the open-angle glaucoma, this type occurs very quickly.
Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing the loss of sight. Glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination.
Glaucoma can’t be cured. Treatment is aimed at reducing pressure in the eye. Regular use of prescription eye drops is the most common and often the first treatment. You may also need laser treatment or surgery.
There is no cure for Glaucoma. Keeping eye pressure under control can slow or stop damage to the optic nerve and continued loss of vision. Our caregivers assist and provide medication reminders like taking oral medications and eyedrops on time as prescribed by doctors. Companions and Care Aides are licensed to drive you to your scheduled eye examination appointments as well.
For those who are affected by vision loss, Better Living Home Care Services offer a free in-home assessment to determine the safety of your home as well as identify risks related to your visual problems. If you are finding yourself having trouble managing on your own, we would love to help you explore your options regarding home care assistance. We provide home care services ranging from respite care to end of life care. Call our Client Care Coordinator at (604) 765-1827 for more information Give us a call at (604) 765-1827 for more information.