Glaucoma is often called “the sneak thief of sight”. This is because; in most cases the intraocular pressure can build up and destroy sight without causing obvious symptoms. There, awareness and early detection of glaucoma are extremely important because this disease can be successfully treated when diagnosed early.
While everyone is at risk for glaucoma, certain people are at a higher risk and need to be checked more frequently by their eye doctor.
There are number of things that can increase the development of glaucoma.
- AGE:- Glaucoma becomes more likely as you get older. In the UK, chronic open-angle glaucoma affects one to two people in every 100 who are over 40 years old, and four to five people in every 100 who are over 80 years old.
- ETHNIC ORIGIN:- People of African or afrocaribbean origin are at increased risk of developing chronic open-angle glaucoma. People of Asian origin are at increased risk acute angle closure glaucoma.
- SHORT SIGHTEDNESS (MYOPIA):- People who are short side are more likely to develop chronic open angle glaucoma.
- OCULAR HYPERTENSION: - People with ocular hypertension are at risk of developing chronic open-angle glaucoma. Your optometrist will be able to diagnose ocular hypertension.
- FAMILY HISTORY:- If you have a close relative, such as a parent, brother or sister who has glaucoma, you are at increased risk of developing the condition yourself.
- MEDICAL HISTORY:- People with diabetes which is a condition caused by too much glucose in the blood, may be at risk of developing glaucoma.
- EYE SURGERY: - Some patients who undergo eye surgery have a higher risk of glaucoma.
- EYE INJURIES: - Some eye injuries, especially severe ones, are linked to a higher glaucoma risk, also retinal detachment, eye inflamenations and eye tumors can also cause glaucoma to occur.
- CORTICOSTEROIDS:-Patients on long term corticosteroids have a raised risk of developing several different conditions, including glaucoma. The risk is even greater with eye drops containing corticosteroids. (Rivera. Et al.,).
GLAUCOMA OTHER RISK FACTORS ARE AS FOLLOWS
- Black racial ancestry
- Marfa’s syndrome
- Optic neuritis
DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH GLAUCOMA
Sarcoidosis is a disease that results from a specific type of inflammation of tissues of the body. It can appear in almost any body organ but it starts most often in the eye. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. The disease can appear suddenly and disappear. It can develop gradually and go on to produce symptoms that come and go some times for a life time (Parikh. et al., 2008).
As sarcoidosis progresses, microscopic lumps of a specific form of inflammation called granuloma appear in the affected tissues. In the majority of cases, these granulomas clear-up either with or without treatment. In the few cases where the granulomas do not heal and disappear the tissues tend to remain inflamed and become scarred fibrotic.
SYMPTOMS OF SARCOIDOSIS
- Erythema nodosum
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
B. MARFAN’S SYNDROME
This is a heritable condition that affects the connective tissue. The primary purpose of connective tissue is to hold the body together and provide a frame work for the growth and development.
The connective tissue is defective and does not act as they should be. Marfa’s syndrome can affect many body systems including the skeleton, eyes, heart, and blood vessels, nervous system, skin and lungs. It affects men, women and children and has been found among people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.
DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH MARFAN SYNDROME ARE:-
- Aortic dissection
- Heart murmur
- Weakness in the legs
- Stretch marks
- Ingitina hernia
- Sleep hpnea
- Retinal detachment.
C. OPTIC NEURITIS
It is the inflammation of the optic nerve of the structure that connects the eye to the brain.
Uveitis is an inflammation of the eye, symptoms include, blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, photophobia and floaters and treatment may involve prescription.
Cataract is an eye disease that causes the eye’s lens to become cloudy and opaque with decreased vision. Causes of cataracts include diabetes and hypothyroidism.
This is inflammation of the white part of the eye. It may be caused by a serious underlying condition such as an autoimmune disease.
G. DIABETES MELLITUS
This is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are referred to as:-
- Diabetes mellitus type I
- Diabetes mellitus type II
2.6 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GLAUCOMA
FOR OPEN ANGLE GLAUCOMA
- Most people have no symptoms
- Once vision loss occurs, the damage is already severe.
- There is a slow loss of side vision
- Advanced glaucoma can lead to blindness
FOR ANGLE CLOSURE GLAUCOMA
- Symptoms may come and go at first or steadily become worse.
- Sudden severe pain in one eye.
- Decreased or cloudy vision often called steamy vision
- Rainbow like halos around lights
- Red eye
- Swollen of the eye.
FOR CONGENITAL GLAUCOMA
- Symptoms are usually noticed when the child is a few months old.
- Cloudness of the front of the eye.
- Enlargement of one eye or both eyes
- Red eye.
- Sensitive to light.
FOR SECONDARY GLAUCOMA
- Blurring of vision secondary to pre-existing condition or affliction.