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Does Glaucoma Cause Blindness? Understanding the Risk and Prevention

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Written by- Gina Walters

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that may cause vision problems due to high fluid pressure in the eyes.

However, many people are concerned about – “Does Glaucoma cause blindness?”.

Yes, Glaucoma may damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. 

Let us explore more about Glaucoma, its impact on vision, and what steps can be taken to prevent blindness.

Can Glaucoma cause blindness

Yes, Glaucoma can cause blindness if not treated or managed properly.

A study states that Glaucoma is one of the most common reasons for permanent blindness all over the world.

The main cause of Glaucoma is increased Intraocular Pressure, as it can harm the optic nerve and cause vision problems.

Intraocular pressure: The fluid pressure inside the eye that is important for maintaining eye shape and health.

However, Glaucoma is more common in older adults and is one of the main reasons for blindness in people over 60.

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How long does it take to go blind from Glaucoma

Eye checkup of Glaucoma patientSource: Yuganov_Konstantin
Eye checkup of Glaucoma patient

The time taken to go blind from Glaucoma varies and depends on factors like the type of Glaucoma, how severe it is, and the effectiveness of treatment.

The two main types of Glaucoma are Open Angle Glaucoma and Angle Closure Glaucoma.

The symptoms of Open-Angle Glaucoma are not noticeable early, and the condition may take many years to cause blindness.

One should get proper treatment before their vision gets worse. Many people can maintain good vision even after 20 years of diagnosis. 

On the other hand, Angle Closure Glaucoma is much faster and may cause blindness within a few days if left untreated.

Angle Closure Glaucoma is a medical emergency that can lead to rapid vision loss by increasing the intraocular pressure suddenly.

Early detection and proper treatment are very important in managing Glaucoma and preventing blindness. 

Want to know more about the symptoms of Glaucoma? Read our article: Understanding Glaucoma Symptoms: Signs of Silent Vision Loss

Healthy lifestyle options like regular exercise and not smoking may help manage Glaucoma.

Treatment options to help with Glaucoma

Glaucoma can be managed and slowed with proper treatment and lifestyle changes.

The Glaucoma treatment options include medications, surgery, and laser therapy.

Eye medications like eye drops may help lower eye pressure (Intraocular Pressure) and slow the growth of Glaucoma.

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Bimatoprost eye drops are an FDA-approved medicine that may help treat Glaucoma.

Your eye doctor can also recommend laser therapy or surgery to help drain the excess fluid from your eye.

Consult a doctor and do eye check-up tests to detect Glaucoma, and always follow your doctor’s treatment plan to reduce the risk of blindness.

Explore about the Glaucoma medicines not to take with our article: Glaucoma Medications to Avoid: What You Need to Know

One may experience watery eyes and blurry vision after Glaucoma surgery. Consult a doctor if the surgery effects are consistent.

Key Takeaways

Glaucoma is an eye condition that may cause high eye pressure and lead to vision problems. 

However, many people are curious about – “Does Glaucoma cause blindness?”.

Yes, Glaucoma may cause blindness as the high eye pressure permanently damages the optic nerve.

However, the time for Glaucoma blindness depends on factors like the type of Glaucoma, its severity, and the effectiveness of treatment.

Doctors may recommend treatment options like medications, surgery, and laser therapy to help with the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Glaucoma cause blindness in both eyes?

No, Glaucoma does not cause blindness in both eyes. People may get Glaucoma in both eyes. However, the condition may start getting worse in only one eye. Therefore, the chances of blindness in both eyes are very low. 

What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

Most people do not notice any symptoms of Glaucoma in its early stages. But as the disease gets worse, it can cause blurred vision, tunnel vision, halos around lights, eye pain, headaches, and sickness. It is important to have regular eye tests to detect Glaucoma early.

Is Glaucoma a genetic problem?

Yes, genetics can be a major cause of Glaucoma for many. A family history of Glaucoma increases the risk of developing the condition. Consult a doctor for an eye exam if you are concerned about developing Glaucoma.

What percentage of Glaucoma patients go blind?

A study states that 15% to 20% of patients may go blind in at least one eye, even with treatment in 15 to 20 years of follow-up. However, blindness from Glaucoma depends on factors such as the type of Glaucoma, its severity, and one’s treatment.

What can I do to manage Glaucoma blindness? 

An individual may lower the risk of vision loss by maintaining a healthy weight, keeping healthy blood pressure, stopping smoking, and staying physically active.

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