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Are You At Risk For Glaucoma?

Aug 17, 2007
Imagine a world where everything is black. Do you see a shapeless, colorless and lifeless world? Blindness is a reality that many people have to deal with. Some people are born to be this way while some lose their vision either through a life changing event or gradually, as with glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

You may have heard the term "glaucoma" in the health programs in radio and television and usually, it is discussed hand-in-hand with the issue of blindness. Glaucoma is said to be the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is the leading cause of blindness for African Americans, who are more prone to the effects of glaucoma than Caucasians.

This certain disease is currently affecting three million Americans, and 4% of these people go blind because of glaucoma. Don't let the percentage fool you, it translates to an actual number of 120,000 people who have gone blind because of glaucoma. All over the world, an estimated 66 million people are suffering from visual impairment due to glaucoma and around 6 million people have gone blind because of glaucoma.

Now that you've seen the problem that is glaucoma, you might as well ask the nature and description of glaucoma. Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases in the eye that is connected with the damaging of the optic nerves. Optic nerves are responsible for delivering information from the brain to the eyes. Damage to the optic nerves can occur when they are under high intraoptic pressure. However, studies have shown that damage can also occur within the range of normal intraoptic pressure.

What are the causes of glaucoma?

There are several notable causes of glaucoma. Studies have shown that the items listed below are some of the most probable causes of the eye disease.

-Medical disorder
There are several common medical disorders that can lead to the development of glaucoma and these disorders can also be catalysts for the aggravation of the disease. Chronic eye diseases other than glaucoma can well be reasons for its development, moreover, previous surgeries involving the eyes can also be a cause of glaucoma. Diabetes and other diseases are also one of the main culprits associated with glaucoma.
Those who take in steroids are also more prone to glaucoma because the use of steroids is much associated with the occurance of the disease.

-Coming of age
As we age, our bodies' efficiency gradually deteriorates. Age is also a common cause of glaucoma. Studies have shown that age and the occurance of glaucoma are directly correlated. This means that as one ages, he is more prone to have glaucoma than when he was younger.

Race is also a main factor when it comes to pinpointing the causes of glaucoma. As mentioned earlier, there are more African-Americans that are pestered by glaucoma than Caucasian-Americans. The specific type of glaucoma that is hitting the African-American population is called the chronic glaucoma. African-Americans are also more prone to have glaucoma at a younger age, starting at 45.

-Family glaucoma history
Just like any of the common modern diseases, the possibility of glaucoma occurring is higher in people who come from families who have glaucoma history.

How do you spot glaucoma?

You may think that glaucoma, like any other disease, will manifest itself through signs and symptoms. There are different types of glaucoma and there are different symptoms for each one. The most devastating one is the chronic glaucoma since it doesn't manifest itself through symptoms during its early stages. The victim wouldn't notice that he has this type of glaucoma until he sees that his peripheral vision has deteriorated, at this point in time, the damage done is irreversible. Narrow-angle glaucoma operates similarly as the chronic one. Closed-angel glaucoma manifests itself in the form of headaches, eye pain, vomiting and nausea. Congenital glaucoma, which occurs in children, damages the vision of its victims since they are too young to understand that there is something wrong with their eyes.

How do I avoid glaucoma?

There is really no exact way to prevent glaucoma. The only thing to do is to do everything in your power to take care of your eyes. A proper diet will definitely help in avoiding glaucoma. Vitamins A, E, C and zinc can greatly reduce the chance of getting glaucoma.

Take care of your eyes and treasure them. You'll never know when the culprit will arrive, so be prepared always.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://vision.health-webzone.com where you can learn more about glaucoma , eye care and eye health.
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