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Glaucoma-The Silent Thief of Sight
  What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve. In its early stage, glaucoma may present few or no symptoms and can gradually steal sight without warning, In fact, most people affected by glaucoma do not know they have it. If left undetected and untreated ,glaucoma can lead to blindness.

One of the major risk factor for glaucoma is elevated pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye. A healthy eye produces fluid, called aqueous humor, at the same rate at which it drains. High pressure result when the drainage system is blocked and the fluid cannot exit at a normal rate. This increased IOP pushes against the optic nerve causing gradual damage, which may result in vision loss,usually starting with the peripheral, or side vision. Increased eye pressure is often associated with gradual damage to the nerve fiber that make up the optic nerve. IOP is currently the only treatable risk factor for glaucoma.

  Gradual Painless Loss of side vision in Glaucoma
  Who are at risk for glaucoma?
  people with a family history of glaucoma
  people over 40 years of age
  people with diabetes
  people who have used steroids for a long period of time
  people with physical eye injuries
  How is glaucoma diagnosed?
A comprehensive eye check-up by an ophthalmologist is the best way to detect glaucoma. A complete eye examination includes measuring IOP and evaluating the drainage angle of the eye and the optic nerve. Additionally visual field tests are used to evaluate the peripheral vision of each eye. OCT is also done to detect early optic nerve damage.
  How can glaucoma be treated?
While there is no cure for glaucoma, elevated IOP is currently the only treatable risk factor. It is important to treat aggressively with the most effective eye drops that can provide maximum reduction of elevated IOP with long term control. In some cases, surgery can also help. It is important for patient to use medication as prescribed and maintain regular examination with an ophthalmologist who can evaluate glaucoma progression and treatment options.
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