Friday, December 28, 2007

Glaucoma - take care of your eyes

Glaucoma is an eye disease that strikes 325,000 Canadians, at least 2 million people in the United States, and 67 million people worldwide – leaving 6.6 people across the world blind. It is also the second leading cause of blindness in North America. So when I read articles like Cost of glaucoma medications may impact treatment, it worries me.

Glaucoma is a silent disease. You don’t know you have it unless it’s detected during an eye exam – or you lose your sight. Vision loss is irreversible. According to Glaucoma Research Canada, you have a higher risk of developing glaucoma if you:

* Are over 40 years old
* Have a family history of glaucoma
* Have an abnormally high intraocular pressure (Pressure in your eye)
* Are of African, Chinese, Scandinavian, Celtic or Russian ancestry
* Have diabetes
* Are nearsighted
* Have used steroids/cortisone regularly for long periods
* Have had a previous eye injury

Glaucoma can’t be cured, but the progress can be slowed with proper treatment so it’s vital to find out if you have it.

Recommendations are that everyone have their eyes checked at least every 2 years after the age of 40 and then every year after turning 65. It’s suggested those who fall into high-risk groups, such as African Americans, have their eyes checked at every 2 to 4 years once they have turned 30.

There are a few different types of glaucoma; the most common ones are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Although they are called silent diseases, they do sometimes have symptoms that aren’t picked up. They include:

· Blurred vision
· Halos around lights
· Reddening of the eye
· Severe eye pain
· Nausea and vomiting

Don’t wait if you fall into a high risk group. And if you don’t, be aware that the problem exists and be checked – just in case.

News for Today:

Triglyceride blood fat levels linked to stroke: study
Avastin prolongs survival of women with breast cancer: study
Handling pesticides associated with greater asthma risk in farm women
LASIK works well, according to long-term study of highly myopic patients
Treating oft ignored non-cancer health issues after cancer diagnosis prolongs survival

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glaucoma can begin at any age, but the rates of primary glaucoma (particularly open-angle glaucoma) increase with advancing age. Thanks for sharing this information.