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Open-angle glaucoma - Research Paper Example

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Open-Angle Glaucoma: Physiological, Psychological, and Social Challenges Name Open-Angle Glaucoma: Physiological, Psychological, and Social Challenges Introduction About three million people in the USA have glaucoma, an incurable disease, which leads to blindness (11)…
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Open-angle glaucoma

Download file to see previous pages... Screening was found to irritate the eyes and increase the risk of cataracts. Subsequently, screening became far less common. Now, again, scientists are recommending screening (11). There are severe outcomes for untreated glaucoma. It results in loss of peripheral vision, damage to the optic nerve, elevated intraocular pressure (11), a life constrained by medications, which have side effects, and the disease can lead to a complexity of psychological symptoms and social effects. This paper aims to discuss the physiological, psychological, and social reality of glaucoma, with a strong focus on open-angle glaucoma. The author of this paper was motivated to take up this topic, due to a personal diagnosis of this disorder, ten months ago. At first, emphasis was placed on the psychosocial expectations of glaucoma (lifestyle changes necessitated by possible oncoming blindness, anticipated changes in social activities, increased dependence on others, loss of self-confidence, and emotional responses). Now the author is motivated to focus on the scientific understanding of glaucoma, also, as a way to become empowered, through information, to minimize risk and delay unfortunate outcomes. Furthermore, personal empowerment can potentially help others. Helping others is a good way to help one’s self. Body Glaucoma gradually takes away vision, leaving blind spots in the peripheral vision, along the way. ...
With open-angle glaucoma, the junction of the cornea and the iris is open, as it should be, but the canals that should drain fluid become clogged. That is what causes the pressure to increase, complicating further drainage (5). Segmental atrophy of the optic disk (known as cupping) then occurs. Open angle glaucoma is bilateral, but it can be asymmetrical (4). Below is an illustration of how the disease progresses. The first picture (4) shows a normal presentation of the optic head. It looks like a donut. The hole in the center (optic cup) is where the nerves turn and begin to spread out. As glaucoma develops, the donut hole becomes enlarged as there is progressive degeneration and erosion of the nerve. The final two pictures show advanced glaucoma. FIGURE 1 There are different types of glaucoma. With open-angle glaucoma, irrespective of how much peripheral vision loss occurs, central vision remains. With absolute glaucoma, central vision also degenerates, along with peripheral vision, including perception of light (8). Glaucoma can strike anyone, anywhere. There are, however, special risk factors. The risk factors for developing open-angle glaucoma include advancing age (six time more likely after age 60), African American (six to eight times more likely) or Latino ethnicity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, family history (four to nine times more likely to develop open-angle glaucoma), large doses of steroid use for asthma (40% increase), and history of eye injury (especially with blunt trauma or penetrative injury such as caused in sports), as well as nearsightedness, high blood pressure, and a thin cornea (less than 5 mm) (8). Family history of open-angle glaucoma has been mapped to a gene mutation. It is a gene that is responsible for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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