Glaucoma – ‘Hypertension of the eyes,’ and blindness

Before you begin to read me. Wait a second. Think back. Was any of your grand-parents blind? Or was your mother, father or relative, blind as they clocked 60 years? Was the blindness the type we call “open-eye-blindness”. That is the eyes are open, appear normal, yet the person is stone-blind. Yes such blindness is usually caused by glaucoma, and it runs in the family.
■ So now let us attempt to change history, by breaking the blindness-history-jinx. So if you are above 40, and had relatives who became blind in their late 50s, please in the name of God visit an ophthalmologist now.
■ Yes, glaucoma, which is medically known as “ocular hypertension “, but which my Chief Nursing Officer(CNO), insist on calling “hypertension of the eyes”, is like essential hypertension – if management starts early and properly, you will live to be a hundred, with your sights intact.
■ Let me repeat, please I said if you are above 40, and had, or still have a relative, who became blind due to glaucoma. I am urging you to check mate it immediately, by consulting an ophthalmologist, who will control the glaucoma now.
• You do not deserve to be blind for a very simple preventable illness. Research has shown that 90% of the people who became blind due to glaucoma after 50, would have had their sights intact if they had bothered to consult their ophthalmologist at the first signs of blurred vision. Now back to brass tacks.
What is glaucoma?
■ The word glaucoma is from ancient Greek – “glaukos”, which means blue, green or gray in English.
■ Glaucoma has been called “the silent thief of sight” – because the loss of vision usually occurs slowly, over a long period of time. Glaucoma is the 2nd-leading cause of blindness after cataracts.
■ Glaucoma occurs most frequently after the age of 50 years. It is caused by a build up of the fluid pressure in the eye. The fluid that fills the eye(aqueous humor) is normally being continually drained away and replaced by fresh fluid.
■ Glaucoma is a disorder in which the pressure in the eyeball increases, damaging the optic nerve and causing a loss of vision.
¤ If the out flow channels are open, the disorder is called “open-angle-glaucoma”. If the channels are blocked by the iris, the disorder is called “ closed-angle-glaucoma”…….
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Source: Nigeria Today