What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye conditions and currently affects almost 2 million people in the United States. Glaucoma is actually a group of eye disease which damages the optic nerve in the eye, which can cause impaired vision or blindness. In fact it is one of the leading causes of blindness. The optic nerve is damaged as a result of increased pressure within the eye. It can also be caused by poor blood supply to the optic nerve fibers, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, or a problem with the nerve fibers themselves. Glaucoma is easily treated if caught early enough, but most symptoms do not occur until the disease has progressed past the point of easy treatment. It is serious and can indeed cause you to lose your sight.
There are many different types of Glaucoma. The most common form is chronic Glaucoma which develops gradually and gives almost no symptoms until it is too light. A person who has this type of Glaucoma often loses their peripheral vision as the pressure in the eye builds up. With the absence of elevated eye pressure, low tension or normal tension Glaucoma can occur. This results in a narrowed vision. Then you have acute Glaucoma which happens when the pressure in the eye increases rapidly. It is rare, and severe and is most likely to lead to permanent damage of the eyesight. Congenital Glaucoma is most seen in babies. Although rare it can be seen in birth and is characterized by sensitivity to light or enlarged and cloudy eyes. Finally you have secondary Glaucoma which results in underlying disorders of the eye such as cataracts, eye inflammation, Diabetes, and injury.
Since the symptoms of Glaucoma are generally not present until the damage has already occurred, a person’s vision can gradually decrease until they finally seek help. It isn’t until a large number of nerve fibers have been destroyed that you may notice because it is when a large part of your vision has deteriorated. It makes it hard to diagnose and treatment to be started. While at this point the vision that has been lost can not usually be regained, there are treatments to slow down the progression of blindness. Conventional treatment consists of eye drops to reduce the pressure. Laser treatment can also stop the progression if eye drops are not working. Finally there is surgery and should only be used as a last resort.
The best way to treat Glaucoma is with prevention. There are many natural remedies that you can start taking years before you have Glaucoma if you believe you are at risk for it. One herb, Bilberry, has been proven to strengthen your eye capillaries and prevent eye related disease. Rooibos, and Sutherlandia Frutescens also work together as antioxidants to prevent Glaucoma and other related eye diseases.