90% of the blindness that causes glaucoma could be avoided through annual check-ups. Despite the advances in science, there are still many people who today are unaware that they have glaucoma. "In most cases," explains Dr. Joaquín Fernández Canillas, ophthalmologist of the hospitals Quirónsalud Murcia y Torrevieja, "the patient is not aware that he has the disease until he has lost much of the visual field. In fact, there is a type of glaucoma in which damage to the optic nerve occurs with eye pressures at normal levels.

Glaucoma is a silent disease that causes blindness. According to the specialist in "from the age of 40, periodic reviews are essential to stop the progression of the disease, since it has no symptoms. In the case of having relatives who have suffered from glaucoma, it is essential to advance them. "

This disease affects 6% of the population and the fundamental test for its early detection is ocular blood pressure, says Dr. Canillas. It is associated with other visual pathologies, such as myopia and high-grade hyperopia, "in addition to metabolic patients, as is the case of diabetics ", adds the specialist.

The test to detect glaucoma consists of a tonometry to check if there is a high intraocular pressure. "It is a quick, simple and painless test that will rule out those subjects susceptible to glaucomatous damage, since it is the most important risk factor for the development of this disease, which can lead to blindness if it is not treated in time" , explains the specialist.

Glaucoma encompasses a group of diseases that cause progressive damage to the optic nerve. With age, its incidence increases and the visual field decreases. The high eye pressure increases the risk of developing glaucoma and the risk of falls of patients is four times higher than that of a person with normal vision.

Prevention and treatment

From the age of 40 it is important to undergo a complete revision of the eyes every one or two years. If you can reduce eye pressure in the early stages of glaucoma, you can stop the progress of the disease and help protect your vision.

Profiles with higher risk of developing the disease:

• Over 60 years old.
• With direct family members who have had glaucoma.
• Black or Asian.
• With high myopia.
• With other eye diseases.

The treatment of glaucoma aims to preserve vision. The only known risk factor against which you can fight is high intraocular pressure, which can be lowered by drugs (basically eye drops). But if these are not enough, there are laser treatments, in addition to a variety of surgical techniques, with implants with minimal incision such as the XEN, the I-stent or the X-press valves. You can also opt for conservative surgeries such as deep non-perforating sclerectomy with implant, one of the most popular at this time, and, for more complicated glaucoma, classical trabeculectomy or valves for more complicated cases", concludes Dr. Canillas.

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