Glaucoma: The Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the internal pressure in your eyes increases enough to damage the nerve fibers in your optic nerve and cause vision loss. The increase in pressure happens when the passages that normally allow fluid in you eyes to drain become clogged or blocked. The reasons that the passages become blocked are not known.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada.  It most often occurs in people over the age of 40. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans, and those who are very near sighted or diabetic are at a higher risk of developing the disease.

The most common type of glaucoma develops gradually and painlessly, without symptoms. A rarer type occurs rapidly and its symptoms may include blurred vision, loss of side vision, seeing coloured rings around lights and pain or redness in the eyes.

Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but if diagnosed and treated early, it can be controlled. Vision lost to glaucoma cannot be restored. This is why the Canadian Association of Optometry recommends annual eye examinations for people at risk of glaucoma (your doctor may, depending on your condition, recommend more frequent eye examinations). A comprehensive optometric examination will include a tonometry test to measure the pressure in your eyes; an examination of the inside of your eyes and optic nerves; and a visual field test to check for changes in central and side vision.

The treatment for glaucoma includes prescription eye drops and medicines to lower the pressure in your eyes. In some cases, laser treatment or surgery may be effective in reducing pressure.

In the interest of better eye health, contact us today.

Dr. H. H. Walji, OPTOMETRIST

(Hons. BSc, MSc, O.D., F.I.O.S)

6633 Hwy 7 at 9th Line

Markham, Ontario

905-471-EYES (3937)

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