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Glaucoma

By: Emily Zhang

Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by optic nerve damage and visual field defects. When an optic nerve or visual pathway gets damaged, it will affect the patient’s vision. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. However, according to studies, even if treated, 15% of the glaucoma patients still go blind in about 20 years. Even so, since there is still an 85% chance of recovery once one seeks treatment.

The early signs of glaucoma include blurry vision, eye pain, tunnel vision, difficulty reading, etc. Some patients may also have high intraocular pressure or severe headaches as well. Despite this, some types of glaucoma may not cause any noticeable symptoms at all, which may lead to untimely treatment. The best way is to prevent this from happening is to have routine eye checks, especially for people who have higher chances of getting glaucoma; those who are more likely at risk include people who:

  • Have a family member with glaucoma
  • Have high intraocular pressure
  • Are severely nearsighted
  • Are severely farsighted
  • Have diabetes 
  • Have low blood pressure
  • Are over the age of 40

One research has shown that people who use cellphones and laptops very often have a higher rate of becoming nearsighted. Among the population of nearsighted people, 41% were eventually diagnosed with glaucoma.

To prevent glaucoma, one should reduce the risk factors that may lead to its development. Some tips on how to do that include:

  • Not smoking
  • Regular exercise to reduce pressure in the eye
  • Adequate amounts of sleep to prevent dysfunctional eye nerves
  • Reducing one’s screentime to lower the chance of nearsightedness. 
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants
  • Taking the vitamin supplements, including one 500 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12.

Reference:

Glaucoma: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glaucoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372839

https://www.commonhealth.com.tw/article/article.action?nid=74282
https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/35895755

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