Glaucoma is an eye condition that can affect your optic nerve with time. It is usually associated with the build up of eye pressures inside the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve and may result in blindness.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world and accounts for 40% of blindness in Singapore. People of different races and can be affected by glaucoma. It is often called the ‘silent thief of sight’ as patients often do not have symptoms until advanced stages of the disease when blindness is imminent. Early detection and treatment will prevent irreversible visual loss and blindness from glaucoma. It is important to see your Ophthalmologist regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs.
What You Need To Know (Causes of Glaucoma)
The most importatnt risk factor for glaucoma is raised eye pressures (intraocular pressure). This occurs when there is an imbalance between fluid production in the eye and its drainage from the eye. The eye pressure at which optic nerve damage occurs varies widely between individuals. Eye pressure in the “normal” or “average” range may still cause damage to the optic nerve in certain susceptible individuals.
Other risk factors for glaucoma include:
- Age – Glaucoma can occur at any age. The risk of glaucoma increases with age. In Singapore, 3% of those over 50 years old and 10% over 70 years old are affected by glaucoma.
- Family History – a family member or relative with glaucoma can increase your chance of having glaucoma
- Eye Injury – a serious eye injury and trauma can cause glaucoma many years later
- Chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Steroid medication use – prolonged use of corticosteroids (eye drops or medications) can cause pressure rises in certain individuals (steroid responders)
- High myopia and hyperopia
- Inflammation of the eye
- Advanced cataracts
- Previous eye surgeries
In Glaucoma, the peripheral vision is usually affected first as the optic nerve is progressively damaged. The patient usually does not experience any symptoms as central vision remains normal. As such the condition goes unnoticed. Later the peripheral visual loss progresses towards the centre leading to tunnel vision and constricted visual fields. In advanced cases central vision is affected. The patient then notices blurred vision when irreversible damage has already occurred.
If you have Glacucoma, EEC can help. We have been perfoming laser eye surgeries, management, and treatment for years. Learn more about treatment and management options or book for an appointment.
Detection and Treatment Options
Nothing Beats Early Detection
Early detection and appropriate treatment can prevent blindness in glaucoma. If you are over 40 years of age or have any of the following symptoms, it is advisable to have an eye check done by an Eye Specialist:
- have a family member or relative with glaucoma
- on steroid medications
- had previous injury to the eye
- had previous surgeries to the eye
- have diabetes
- have high myopia or high hyperopia
- blurred vision
- intermittent eye pain
- known to have inflammation of the eyes
Eagle Eye Centre is proud to offer the best in Glaucoma Treatments in all our branches in Singapore. Click on this link to schedule for your appointment today.