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Glaucoma: what it is, what the symptoms are and what it entails


Glaucoma is a chronic disease that affects the optic nerve. Let's find out how to recognize it and what are the therapies to be implemented.

Known to be the second cause of blindness in Italy , glaucoma is a problem due to the internal pressure of the eye which is also associated with the reduction of blood towards the optic nerve. The latter is also responsible for transmitting visual information from the retina to the brain. Reason why, suffering from glaucoma leads to a progressive loss of the visual field with subsequent blindness. An important problem and for which it is necessary to recognize the disease immediately. So here's everything you need to know about it.

Glaucoma: what it is and how to recognize it

Let's start by saying that there are two different forms of glaucoma. One is called an open angle and the other a closed angle. For the uninitiated, the angle is the part of the eye that is located between the cornea and the iris and whose conjunction forms an angle.


Of the two forms, the open angle is the more common and has a slow progression with symptoms that are recognized only when the disease is in an advanced state. It usually occurs more easily in extremely short-sighted people who are familiar with the disease. On the other hand, the closed-angle one occurs mostly in old age or in hyperopic subjects. In much rarer cases we can instead speak of congenital glaucoma , as it is present from birth.

In all cases, glaucoma can be recognized by the ophthalmologist who, once found, will take care of establishing the most appropriate treatment. The tests to recognize them are that of the fundus of the eye, the refractive test and other tests that measure the intraocular pressure and the thickness of the cornea.
To these, it may be useful to add the study of the visual field, computerized perimetry, iridography and optical coherence tomography. All exams that are able to offer a general idea and are able to recognize what type of glaucoma one suffers from.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma

Obviously, in most cases, glaucoma tends to present itself with symptoms that are mild at first but gradually increase in extent. One of the first concerns the vision which tends to be damaged, especially on the sides or in the lower part.
It happens, therefore, that sufferers start hitting objects or find it difficult to go down or up the stairs and to read.

Unfortunately, those who suffer from it are not always able to realize this. But, given that the disease is chronic, it is very important to recognize it in time. To do this, therefore, it is important to visit the ophthalmologist often, especially if there are cases of glaucoma in the family, if you have even minimal problems with reduction of the visual field, if you are short-sighted or diabetic and if you know you have eye defects which can lead to the development of glaucoma.

Prolonged use of cortisone can also cause the disease. Reason why, if you were being treated with drugs of this type, it is important to often undergo eye examinations .

How to treat glaucoma

Once the diagnosis of glaucoma has been received, it is possible to start a therapy based on eye drops that help reduce eye pressure , also slowing down the progression of the disease.
When these therapies are no longer able to bring benefits, it may be useful to resort to laser or surgical treatments such as trabeulectomy, deep sclerectomy or other interventions capable of improving the problem.

However, as already mentioned, the disease is progressive, which is why in the advanced stage it can lead to even total loss of vision. All the more reason to try to catch it in time and treat it in the best possible way, also implementing all possible prevention techniques.

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