Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Galucoma: the thief of sight

Something that is not often thought about until it effects you or someone you care about is the various diseases affecting the eyes that come with the effects of aging. I recall when I was younger and my dad began to loose his eyesight, he went to see the doctors and was diagnosed with glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a sneaky type of vision loss that creeps in along the edge of your vision. Giving you a good crisp view of the things you are looking directly at, but causing an area of hazy unfocused vision off to one side. This unfocused section often goes unnoticed because of the effects of glaucoma. When the person redirects their attention to the blurred area it snaps into crisp focus, the blurred segment having moved with the eyes to remain just off to one side of the object being viewed. This makes it very difficult for someone to realize that they are suffering from glaucoma until it has entered the more advanced stages.

My father was able to undergo surgery to correct the problems, avoiding loss of his vision that glaucoma would have eventually resulted in. Years later the silent thief was back, this time my oldest brother was the one that was being robbed of his vision. By the time he was able to get laser surgery to correct the problem he had come very close to losing his vision.

The ability to see is a precious thing, something that should be protected and cherished. The University of Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary has information on Glaucoma including possible causes and ways to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma.

There are a large number of studies being done to try and understand glaucoma better, including what treatments might be the most effective. The biggest danger glaucoma presents is the painless and symptomless progression toward loss of vision. By making yourself aware of what the known symptoms and risk factors are, and keeping a close watch over yourself and your care recipient, you can better reduce the danger of vision loss due to glaucoma.

If you would like to find out more about glaucoma, and other types of eye diseases that effect the aging eye, the Eye Digest has extensive information available on all kinds of aging eye related diseases.


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