The Common Types of Glaucoma in the Philippines: Awareness for Prevention and Early Detection
Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, is a real and pressing concern in the Philippines, affecting thousands of people from all walks of life. Education and awareness about the disease, its types, and ways for prevention is most vital in our fight against it.
II. What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in the eye. We are going to shed light on the five different types commonly found in the Philippines.
III. Overview of the Five Types of Glaucoma
A. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
This type of Glaucoma, the most common on a global scale, occurs when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time. It leads to a gradual increase in eye pressure and subsequent optic nerve damage. The symptoms are often hard to notice until it’s quite advanced. With effective early diagnosis, the risk can be significantly reduced by prescribed eye drop medication or laser therapy.
B. Angle-Closure Glaucoma
It is an eye condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and cannot flow out of the eye. The rapid build-up of fluid leads to a sudden increase in eye pressure and may cause blurred vision, severe eye pain, headache, and even nausea. This type is a medical emergency; laser therapy or surgery is often needed.
C. Normal-Tension Glaucoma
The peculiar aspect of this type of Glaucoma is that it causes damage to the optic nerve without eye pressure exceeding the normal range. Treatment usually involves medications which can lower the eye pressure level further to slow the disease progress.
D. Secondary Glaucoma
Secondary Glaucoma refers to any Glaucoma that results from an injury or other eye condition, such as inflammation, tumor or advanced cases of cataract or diabetes. Treatments aim to resolve the underlying condition as well as lower eye pressure, typically involving medications, laser treatment or surgery.
E. Congenital Glaucoma
This type appears at birth or in early childhood and is usually the result of abnormal eye development. It’s rare but recognizable through symptoms like clouded eyes, excess tearing, or light sensitivity. Surgery is often necessary to reduce the eye pressure.
IV. Glaucoma Statistics in the Philippines
Statistics by the Department of Health indicate that at least 2% of the population aged 40 years and over suffer from Glaucoma. That signifies the critical need for heightened awareness and prompt treatments.
V. Glaucoma Prevention
Prevention of Glaucoma can be aided by regular eye check-ups, especially for individuals over the age of 60 and those with a family history of the disease. Living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining normal body weight, controlling blood pressure, and regular exercise also form part of the prevention protocol.
Being informed isn’t just the key to preserving your vision; it’s a fighting chance for thousands under threat from Glaucoma. Help raise awareness and bring about the importance of regular checks, and early detection to your community. Prevention is, after all, better than cure.