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Glaucoma, which is generally caused by an increase in pressure within the eye, leads to a loss of the visual field. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to a complete loss of sight. This condition is, in fact, one of the main causes of blindness in Canada.
This type constitutes 80 to 90 percent of glaucoma cases. It progresses very slowly over a period of 10 to 20 years, gradually getting worse and leading to irreparable vision field loss.
Since this loss is painless, most peopleaffected only realize there is a problem when their loss of vision is considerably advanced. Regular eye exams allow for the early detection of the disease, helping to prevent damage.
This acute form of the disease constitutes a medical emergency. In less than 30 minutes, a person can experience symptoms such as:
Total or partial vision loss can then occur quickly. A doctor must therefore be consulted as soon as symptoms appear.
The eye is made of a fluid called aqueous humour, among other things. If this fluid does not drain properly, it can increase the pressure within the eye. Over time, this pressure damages the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying images to the brain. Once the optic nerve is affected, the vision field is gradually reduced.
Here are some of the risk factors associated with glaucoma:
If you have glaucoma, certain over-the-counter medications can aggravate your condition. Consult a health professional before taking any new medication.
Knowing that the vision loss caused by glaucoma is permanent, it is easy to understand why having regular eye exams is so important, even in the absence of pain or apparent decline in your vision.
Generally, people under 65 years of age should have their eyes checked every year or every two years, while those over 65 should have an annual exam. Your eye care specialist can determine the rate of visits that suits you best.
There are many treatments to slow the progression of damage caused by glaucoma.
By taking their medication and undergoing regular eye exams, most people with glaucoma can lead normal lives.
Do you have questions about glaucoma and its treatment? Talk to your pharmacist. He’s there for you!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.