Glaucoma symptoms and prevention
Glaucoma is an eye disease generally related to elevated ocular pressure. Worldwide it is the second cause of blindness after cataracts, and it is an irreversible condition. It is estimated that in Italy, glaucoma affects around 1 million people but half of these are not aware of it because they do not regularly receive ophthalmological screenings.
Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve due to abnormally high internal eye pressure. Retinal nerve fibers, which send visual information to the brain, converge in the optic nerve. The increased eye pressure irreparably damages neurons, which are essential for sending and receiving vision-associated bioelectric signals.
Chronic open angle glaucoma is the most frequent of the various types of glaucoma (around 80% of cases). It occurs when an obstacle prevents the aqueous humor from flowing through the eye. The majority of outflow is via the trabecular meshwork, a tissue responsible for active transport of the aqueous humor. It is found above the iris or, more precisely, in the angle between the iris and cornea.
Recent studies have demonstrated how the functionality of the trabecular meshwork is fundamental to prevent the progression of glaucoma.
Glaucoma has been called the “silent thief of sight” because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when glaucoma is quite advanced. Once lost, vision cannot be recovered normally.
Glaucoma treatment is usually effective only if the ophthalmologist’s therapy is followed scrupulously. If the condition is detected early enough, it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression.
- If the condition is detected early enough, it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression.
Be sure to ask your ophthalmologist for advice.