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    Prima Medical Center Saigon, Glaucoma

    Glaucoma: The Silent, Painless Thief of Sight

    26 January, 2024

    Prima Saigon:  Glaucoma, an eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in the World and also in Vietnam. Knowledge is power; prevention is priceless. You can help minimize vision loss by learning what glaucoma is and the steps you can take to protect your eyesight from this devastating disease.

    Prima Saigon: Glaucoma: The Silent, Painless Thief of Sight

    Prima Saigon: Thế nào là nhãn áp bình thường

    What is glaucoma?

    One part of our eye, the optic nerve, attaches to the back of the eye like a cable to a TV. It transmits signals from our retinal photoreceptors to the visual cortex part of our brain, creating a visual of our world. Additionally, our eyes are filled with clear fluid called the vitreous, which maintains the structure of our eyes similar to the way air does in a tire or water in a balloon. With glaucoma, the vitreous fluid’s pressure is too much for the optic nerve head, and it starts to crush the optic nerve, causing permanent nerve damage.

    Glaucoma is sometimes called “the thief of sight.” First, the damage to the optic nerve is painless because we do not have any sensation in our optic nerves. Second, the damage starts with our peripheral vision, but our brains have the ability to “fill in” what is “most likely” visually present (such as the edges of a road we are driving on). Therefore, glaucoma may not be detected quickly because we do not perceive these black spots in the missing areas. By the time the damage impacts vision, it is often too late for effective treatment.

    Prima Saigon: some confuses between glaucoma and cataract

    Prima Saigon: some confuses between glaucoma and cataract

    Some people confuse glaucoma and cataracts. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye gets damaged and becomes cloudy and opaque. Other people often can see when another person has cataracts (the pupils look whitish or bluish instead of black), but with glaucoma, the disease is not visually apparent. Additionally, while vision loss from cataracts is reversible with surgery to replace the damaged lens, nerve damage from glaucoma is permanent.

    What causes glaucoma?

    While we don’t know the exact factors that cause glaucoma, the disease has been associated with different gene mutations, suggesting a genetic component. However, this relationship is not clear, and not everyone with one of these mutations gets glaucoma. Nevertheless, a family history of glaucoma is important for your doctor to know. Secondary glaucoma can arise from trauma or inflammation. A history of blunt eye trauma makes regular examinations even more important.

    The Good News

    While this all can sound very alarming, they also alert us to potential danger and to take action. Good news to take to heart:

    • It is not extremely common; only about 4% of people get glaucoma.
    • Glaucoma is very treatable (typically, treatment involves eye drops or laser surgery that can increase fluid drainage), and, in most cases, the damage is slow. This means that for many, regular treatment and adherence to care recommendations may allow functional vision to be maintained for life.
    • Eye examinations by your ophthalmologist can detect glaucoma long before you notice any changes. While glaucoma is most common in people over 50, it can occur at any age, so beginning and maintaining routine eye exams is essential.

    What can you do?

    • Get regular eye examinations, which include an eye pressure check and examination of optic nerve health.
    • Avoid smoking, as it may accelerate glaucoma damage.
    • Regular aerobic exercise may increase blood flow to the optic nerves and lessen damage.
    • Vegetables may slow progression, especially green leafy ones, carrots, and other antioxidants.

    Our doctor @ Prima Saigon may recommend changes in your sleeping position, such as elevating the head of your bed, or a consultation for sleep apnea in case a CPAP machine is warranted to maximize blood flow.

    Dr An Trinh, Prima Saigon, is consulting patients about Glaucoma

    Dr An Trinh, Prima Saigon, is consulting patients about Glaucoma

    MOST IMPORTANT:

    If our doctor @ Prima Saigon prescribes eye drops to lower pressure or recommends laser treatments (not LASIK, but a laser procedure to open the eye drainage area), follow the treatment plan thoroughly! While glaucoma can still cause vision loss, regular eye examinations and carefully following medical advice and treatment can help you keep functional vision for the rest of your life!

    If you need an eye assessment, please have a visit to Prima Medical Center Saigon

    • Address: 27 Ky Dong St, District 3, HCMC
    • Websitehttps://primahealth.vn/en/
    • Business Hours: 07:30 – 17:00 from Monday – Saturday
    • HOTLINE: 0919-209-039 or 1900 – 9115

    Prima Saigon recommends that clients should reserve their intended consultation at least three days before their visit for convenience and less waiting time.