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Glaucoma Awareness: Common Myths, Symptoms And Treatment

Glaucoma is a condition in which damage to the optic nerve causes damage to the eyes. Know all about the common myths surrounding it, its symptoms and...
  • Tanushree De
  • Editorial
Published -12 Mar 2019, 18:22 ISTUpdated -12 Mar 2019, 18:37 IST
glaucoma awareness week

Commonly known as Kala Motia, Glaucoma is an eye disease that mostly affects people in older age but congenital glaucoma is a possibility as well. Glaucoma is a condition in which damage to the optic nerve causes damage to the eyes. Optic nerve carries information about sight to the brain. In most cases, the damage to the optic nerve occurs when the pressure of matter increases in the front of the eye. But glaucoma related damage to the eye can occur even when the pressure of matter is normal.

Glaucoma: The Silent Thief Of Vision

development of glaucoma and symptoms

Glaucoma is also called 'silent thief of vision' because it mostly does not cause any kind of pain and does not show any signs of sight loss. Glaucoma is globally one of the third leading causes of blindness. According to estimates, glaucoma affects 12 million Indians and 12.8 percent of the country's blindness is caused due to it. Glaucoma is the second largest cause of blindness in the United States whereas in African American people it is the main cause of blindness. Black glaucoma is the second largest cause of blindness in India.

Read More: Wear Contact Lenses? Here Are Some Tips That You Shouldn't Miss

Common Myths About Glaucoma

facts vs myths of glaucoma

  • If your vision is 20/20, you will not develop glaucoma
  • If there is no family history, you are safe
  • Glaucoma develops if there is an increase in eye pressure
  • If there are no symptoms, I do not need to get checked
  • Glaucoma can only affect the elderly

Glaucoma In Children

Glaucoma usually develops in people over 40 years of age, but many a times congenital glaucoma also occurs in newborns. Its symptoms include redness in the eyes, watering of eyes, big eyes, corneal blurring etc.

Glaucoma Checkup

woman putting drops in eye

Glaucoma cannot be stopped, but if the diagnosis and treatment are done on time, the disease can be controlled. Because of the increased pressure, most of the people with cataracts do not show any initial symptoms or pain, so it is important to visit an eye specialist regularly, so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated to avoid visual impairment in the long-term.

If you are above 40 years of age and have a family history of Glaucoma then you should have your eye exam done in 1 or 2 years. If you have a health problem like history of diabetes or you are at risk of other eye diseases then you should a checkup from time to time too.

What Does Research Say?

According to World Health Organisation estimates, 70 million people worldwide suffer from glaucoma. At the same time, surveys and research over this disease have shown that nearly 20 million people are suffering from glaucoma in the country today.

Treating Glaucoma With Stem Cell Therapy

Scientists have developed the technique to build a retinal nerve cell with the help of stem cells in the lab which sends the visual signal from the eyes to the brain. This technique will be effective in treating blindness caused by glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. According to John Hopkins University researcher Donald Jake, ‘This will not only help to understand the structure of the optic nerve but also help in finding those medicines that are effective in treating these diseases. In this technique researchers used the Genome Editing Tool to change the stem cell and make them fluorescent with the help of proteins so that the affected cells can be distinguishable. Jack claims that the new cell will help in finding new cures for cataract and other related eye-related diseases.

World Glaucoma Week is from March 10 to 16 wherein awareness about this disease affecting the eyes is spread to eliminate the irreversible blindness caused by this disease.

To know how to give your eyes a break with yoga or know about the magical honey-cinnamon remedy and more keep reading Her Zindagi.

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