Today, there are no effective, proven ways to prevent glaucoma. The best that can be done is to slow its development at an early stage, with timely diagnosis and treatment.
That is why it is very important to have a regular checkup with an optometrist. The doctor can conduct a series of painless tests - measuring intraocular pressure, checking visual acuity, visual field, etc. This will help detect glaucoma at an early stage, and prevent damage to the optic nerve..
It is worth remembering that only half (!) Of patients with glaucoma know about their disease, and the rest learn about it only when the visual damage has become irreversible. The best way to protect yourself from vision loss is to have a doctor check up every couple of years, especially after reaching the age of 40..
Yes you can. But even if a person has become a victim of this insidious disease, there are good chances to maintain vision, provided that the treatment is correct. Treatment significantly slows the damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye. If you take the drugs prescribed by your doctor regularly, then, most likely, the patient will maintain his vision until old age.
If parents have glaucoma, will their children have glaucoma?
This is not necessary, but burdened heredity increases the risk of illness.
Other risk factors for glaucoma include:
1. Age over 50 years (for whites).
2. Age over 40 years (for blacks).
3. Cases of illness in relatives.
4. Serious eye injury in the past.
5. Taking steroid drugs.
People with such risk factors should be regularly examined by an ophthalmologist, more often than other categories of the population..
At an early stage, glaucoma can be effectively controlled with eye drops that reduce intraocular pressure. If the disease does not respond to medical treatment, the doctor may recommend surgical treatment..
Glaucoma medications work differently: some medications reduce the production of fluid in the eye, while others improve its outflow. But you should pay attention - glaucoma medications (including drops) can affect the whole body, so you need to warn all your doctors that you are taking such drugs.
Of the surgical methods for treating glaucoma, the so-called laser trabeculoplasty, in which with the help of a laser beam affect the outflow zone (drainage zone) of the eye. The trabeculectomy method is also used, in which the doctor surgically creates a path for the outflow of fluid from the eye. After surgery, patients can continue to take drops.
Research in the 1970s in the United States showed that smoking marijuana can lower intraocular pressure. Other, more recent studies have produced controversial results..
The latest reviews by the US National Eye Institute (NEI) state that "there is no scientifically based evidence that marijuana is more effective in glaucoma than other medications.".
However, in many countries of the world, marijuana is an illegal plant, and this must be reckoned with..
Many glaucoma patients can drive a car. It depends on the degree of visual impairment. You can drive a car until the patient is able to undergo a medical commission (for eyesight). For the sake of driving safety, consult your healthcare provider about this issue..
The doctor decides on this individually.
Some drugs (drops) can be used freely without removing contact lenses, and some drugs require lenses to be removed before use. In addition, some medications can change visual acuity, which will require new contact lenses..
If the ophthalmologist decides that the patient needs surgery, this may affect the ability to wear lenses. It is necessary to discuss this issue with your doctor.
Staying alone with this diagnosis is scary, especially for an elderly person who cannot count on good health anyway. If elderly parents, relatives, acquaintances suffer from glaucoma, then the main thing to do for them:
- Monitor the regular, correct intake of medications prescribed by your doctor, ensure their continued availability in the medicine cabinet. Irregular use of glaucoma medications significantly affects the effectiveness of therapy. You can call the patient, visit him or put a signal reminding you to take the drug.
- Check for regular visits to an ophthalmologist. This can be difficult, as many older people are reluctant to go to the doctors. But regular check-ups and eye tests are important for proper treatment..
- Support the patient in case of surgery, especially with postoperative care. If an elderly person does not have medical insurance, then materially effective treatment can be helped - effective treatment for glaucoma is quite expensive, and requires large expenses for the rest of your life.