Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that can seriously affect a person's vision and quality of life. The condition causes an irreversible reduction in the field of vision. And although people over the age of 40 are at greater risk, glaucoma can develop at any age. Fortunately, if this eye disease is diagnosed and treated in time, you can slow its progression. Let's look into how you can preserve your vision and improve your quality of life.
Progressive loss of peripheral vision with the development of glaucoma
When glaucoma starts to develop, it first causes a loss of peripheral vision. In other words, if this happens to you, you may find it difficult to see objects to the side without turning your head.
Since this deterioration in peripheral vision is progressive, it is not necessarily noticeable at the onset of the disease. As your eyesight worsens, peripheral vision degradation can lead to safety issues as you go about your day-to-day life.
The best way to prevent the onset and development of glaucoma is to have your eyes examined. During the examination, your optometrist will measure your intraocular pressure, which, if too high, can damage the optic nerve and your vision.
Don't hesitate to make a regular appointment for a complete eye exam to prevent the development of glaucoma.
Loss of central vision caused by advanced glaucoma
As glaucoma progresses, it can affect your central vision. This can make it difficult to read, watch TV, recognize faces and perform any other activity that requires clear vision in the center of your vision.
Impaired night vision
Although not always the case, some people find it difficult to see in the dark as glaucoma progresses. This eye disease can lead to a loss of sensitivity to light; in low-light conditions, vision becomes less sharp.
Visual discomfort caused by halos and glare
Some glaucoma sufferers may perceive halos or be more easily dazzled by light sources. This can be annoying and even dangerous when driving at night.
The risk of blindness
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. It is often considered the second most common cause of blindness after age-related macular degeneration.
Fortunately, glaucoma can be successfully treated if diagnosed early, with little impact on quality of life. On the other hand, if left untreated, a person can gradually lose their independence and ability to perform many everyday activities.
The effects of glaucoma on quality of life
The earlier glaucoma is detected and treated, the better your chances of preserving your vision and quality of life. This progressive eye disease has short- and long-term effects on a person's well-being and independence.
In its advanced stages, glaucoma makes it challenging to carry out everyday tasks such as driving, reading, recognizing faces, etc. As a result, sufferers may feel distressed by their inability to see clearly and maintain their autonomy.
As the loss of autonomy progresses, dependence on others increases, social life becomes less rich, and self-esteem can also suffer.
How can I prevent the progression of glaucoma?
Regular eye examinations are important, especially if you notice that you have risk factors. These risk factors include a family history of glaucoma, advanced age and medical conditions that favour the onset of this disease.
Treatments generally aim to reduce intraocular pressure to slow the onset or progression of the disease.
In addition to regular check-ups with your optometrist, you can adopt lifestyle habits that reduce your risk of developing the disease:
- Wear quality sunglasses because they filter out harmful UV rays outdoors; when UV rays damage your eyes, it increases the risk of glaucoma.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle that promotes good blood circulation and overall eye health. This includes, for example, blood pressure management, regular physical activity and a nutritious diet.
- Stop smoking, even if you smoke one to four cigarettes a day. Smoking increases the risk of eye and general health problems.
- Get regular medical check-ups if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, as these conditions can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.