Glaucoma is no longer a disease of middle-aged and elderly people, and the number of patients is increasing year by year. In 2022 , the number of patients with glaucoma worldwide will exceed 80 million. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of patients with glaucoma will exceed 100 million in 2040 . And glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in Taiwan, and the number of patients is also increasing year by year. The reason is likely to be related to the trend of popularization of smart phones and more and more people starting to use them from childhood . The second week is World Glaucoma Week , to increase the public's attention to glaucoma.
what is glaucoma
Glaucoma is primarily caused by increased pressure inside the eyeball (ocular pressure). There is a transparent and clear circulating fluid in the eye (anterior chamber) called aqueous humor. When the flow of aqueous humor is blocked, the pressure in the eye is higher than the optic nerve can withstand, and it is easy to gradually damage the optic nerve and cause permanent damage to the optic nerve. .
In the early days, glaucoma was simply considered to be the impairment of visual function caused by acute or long-term elevated intraocular pressure, but in recent years it has been confirmed that glaucoma is a diverse optic neuropathy, and it is difficult to simply use the elevated intraocular pressure as the cause of the disease.
If you have the following symptoms, please go to the eye doctor as soon as possible:
- Blurred vision and reduced peripheral vision (peripheral vision is not as wide as it used to be)
- Looking at the lights at night, there are colorful halos around
- Headache and swollen eyes when watching in the dark
- Headache, eye swelling, accompanied by nausea and vomiting
- People over 40 years old
- have a family history of glaucoma
- high myopia
To prevent glaucoma, daily maintenance must reduce factors that increase intraocular pressure:
- sufficient sleep
- Avoid excessive use of electronic products
- no smoking
- Rest your eyes fully, look into the distance, and do eye exercises
- Eat more foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin B12
The key to glaucoma treatment is to control intraocular pressure and avoid continuous damage to the optic nerve. The existing treatments are divided into drugs, lasers, traditional & minimally invasive surgery
Eye drops or oral medicines for glaucoma can reduce the formation of aqueous humor or promote the discharge of aqueous humor, thereby reducing intraocular pressure and keeping glaucoma under good control. However, eye drops often cause discomfort such as redness and itching, and the medicine must be taken at a fixed time every day, which is easy to forget or ignore, which will affect the therapeutic effect.
If the drop in intraocular pressure is not satisfactory after drug treatment, or the drug has side effects and cannot be used continuously, surgery must be considered.
- Glaucoma Treatment and Prevention | Health Education Leaflet - The Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University (cmu.edu.tw)
- World Glaucoma Week "WHO predicts that there will be more than 100 million glaucoma patients worldwide in 2040... How to avoid deterioration? Ophthalmology authority emphasizes "1 key" | Xin Media (cmmedia.com.tw)
- Corporate legal person Taiwan Glaucoma Care Association (iop-target.org)
- Understand the symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of glaucoma in one go｜元气网(udn.com)
- "Glaucoma" may quietly take away your vision, these 5 major groups should pay attention-Commonhealth Magazine (commonhealth.com.tw)