Last March 12th, the World Glaucoma Day. A day that served to remind us that nearly half a million Spaniards suffer from glaucoma, although half of them do not know it. And, glaucoma is a condition that has no symptoms, so it is often detected too late. This is probably the biggest problem related to this disease in which early diagnosis and immediate treatment are fundamental for its control.

Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by damage to the secondary optic nerve caused, in a high percentage, by the increase in intraocular pressure. Progressive deterioration of the nerve fibers usually leads to visual field loss and, in the most severe cases, to blindness. In fact, it is considered the second cause of avoidable blindness, after diabetes, and affects more than 60 million people in the world. Only in Spain is it estimated that it affects around 2% of people over 40 years of age, increasing the risk of developing it at an older age.

Check your eyesight to avoid glaucoma

"In the vast majority of cases, glaucoma is asymptomatic until advanced stages. For this reason, it is essential that people with risk profiles, such as patients with a family history, diabetics, people with high myopia and those over 50 years of age undergo regular ophthalmic examinations, "says Dr. Gema Rebolleda, Director of the Glaucoma Unit of Clínica Baviera. A screening procedure for the detection of glaucoma is non-contact tonometry, a simple and painless test whose duration does not exceed two minutes, with which the intraocular pressure is measured.

"Taking into account that the damage that occurs in glaucoma is irreversible, the earlier the diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment is instituted, the better the results. Although there is no cure, we can slow down its progression, stopping the progressive deterioration of the optic nerve and the loss of visual field by reducing and controlling intraocular pressure, "explains Dr. Rebolleda.

Source: Baviera clinic

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