Posted on: 08.01.2023 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 15, 2004

Vision Health


Glaucoma is a disease that

causes damage to the optic nerve, a nerve bundle consisting of more

than one million fibers that connect to the retina. This disease

can result in pain, vision impairment, and blindness. The damage

can occur if there is elevated pressure inside the eye. In most

cases, the intraocular pressure (pressure on the optic nerve) exists

because fluid is not exchanged properly at the point where the cornea

and iris meet. This is referred to as open-angle glaucoma and is

the most common form of glaucoma, affecting more than one million


As is the case with other eye diseases, women with

glaucoma can be symptom-free for many years before they know there

is a problem. This is unfortunate, because the disease can be halted

if treated during its early stages. As the disease progresses, a

woman may have difficulty reading or sewing, experience a loss of

peripheral vision, or notice spots or halos around lights. Serious

symptoms that deserve immediate medical attention include intense

pain around the eyes, swollen or cloudy corneas, and blurry vision.

Glaucoma can be detected during an eye exam with either an ophthalmologist

or optometrist. The practitioner will measure your inner-eye pressure

with a device called a tonometer. Higher-than-normal pressure within

the eye does not always indicate glaucoma, so your eye doctor will

look for other signs. He or she will test your visual acuity (how

well you see at different distances) and visual field (side or peripheral

vision). He or she will also dilate your pupils so that your optic

nerve can be examined for damage and evaluated.

While you can never fully cure glaucoma or reverse its damage, you

can avoid further deterioration of the optic nerve with proper treatment.

Medication can control the amount of fluid in the eyes or improve

the draining of that fluid. Laser surgery may be necessary to drain

the eye if the pressure build up is severe. Conventional surgery

may also be indicated, especially if the fluid in the eye isn’t

draining from the existing opening. These approaches have high rates

of success in treating chronic glaucoma. Nutritional therapies,

such as supplementing with vitamin C, are also helpful in controlling

the pressure. Finally, if your glaucoma is brought on by diabetes,

you should do everything in your power to stabilize your blood sugar.

Even though you can’t prevent glaucoma, slowing the disease is possible

through early detection. Make sure you get regular eye checkups

(at least once every two to three years) and make sure to follow

your eye doctor’s advice. If you are in a high-risk group for glaucoma,

you should have your eyes checked more often. According to the American

Academy of Ophthalmology, you are at increased risk for developing

glaucoma if you:

  • Are of African-American,

    Eskimo, Irish, Japanese, Russian, or Scandinavian descent

  • Have a family history of


  • Have experienced a serious

    eye injury

  • Have diabetes, or
  • Have high blood pressure

Read More on Vision:

Getting Started

Age-Related Macular Degeneration



Diabetic Retinopathy

Keep It Simple Tip: Palming

Nutritional Therapies

Lutein and Zeaxanthin for Age-related

Macular Degeneration

Antioxidants for AMD and Cataracts

Help for Dry Eyes

Protect Your Eyes from Strain

Complementary Therapies

Red Light Therapy for Macular Degeneration

Ozone Therapy for Macular Degeneration



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