Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world and accounts for 40% of blindness in Singapore. People of different races and ages are affected by glaucoma. It is often called the ‘silent thief of sight’ as patients often do not have symptoms until in advanced disease. Early detection and treatment will prevent irreversible visual loss and blindness from glaucoma. It is important to see your ophthalmologist regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs.
What You Need To Know (Causes of Glaucoma)
The major risk factor for glaucoma is raised eye pressures (intraocular pressure). This occurs when there is an imbalance of fluid production in the eye and its drainage from the eye. The eye pressure at which optic nerve damage occurs varies between individuals. Even in a population normal range of eye pressures optic nerve damage can still occur.
Other risk factors for glaucoma include:
- Age; Glaucoma can occur at any age. The risk of glaucoma increases with age. In Singapore, 3% of those over 50 years old and 10% over 70 years old are affected by glaucoma.
- Family History – a family member or relative with glaucoma can increase your chance of having glaucoma
- Eye Injury – a serious eye injury can cause glaucoma many years later
- Chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
- Steroid medication use – prolonged steroid use (eye drops or medications) can cause raised eye pressures in certain individuals (steroid responders)
- High myopia and hyperopia
- Inflammation of the eye
- Advanced cataracts
- Previous eye surgeries
The peripheral vision is usually affected first as the optic nerve is progressively damaged in glaucoma. This is usually symptomless and goes unnoticed as central vision remains normal. Later the peripheral visual loss progresses towards the center leading to tunnel vision and in advanced cases central vision is lost. The patient hence notices blurred vision late in the disease when irreversible damage has already occurred.
If you have Glacucoma, EEC can help. We have been perfoming laser eye surgeries, management, and treatment for years. Learn more about treatment and management options or book for an appointment.
Nothing Beats Early Detection
Early detection and appropriate treatment can prevent blindness in glaucoma. If you are over 40 years of age,have any of the following symptoms, it is advisable to have an eye check done by an eye specialist:
- have a family member or relative with glaucoma
- on steroid medications
- had previous injury to the eye
- had previous surgeries to the eye
- have diabetes
- have high myopia or high hyperopia
- blurred vision
- intermittent eye pain
- known to have inflammation of the eyes
Eagle Eye Center is proud to offer the best in Glaucoma Treatments in all six locations in Singapore. Click on this link to schedule your appointment today.