By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
Glaucoma is a chronic, incipient illness that most often has no symptoms. Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure inside the eye that leads to damage to the optic nerve fibres and diminished field of vision.
Before the illness is discovered, it has most often lead to permanent loss of optic nerve fibres and diminished field of vision, and this is why the illness is treacherous. Glaucoma is a relatively rare illness. Only around 1% of the population older than 45 years have glaucoma. There is some degree of heritage connected to glaucoma. The risk of having glaucoma is ten times higher if other family members have it. Therefore, it is a good idea to be examined by an ophthalmologist, if a family member has glaucoma, even though you do not have any symptoms. Most often, difficulties with orientation in dimmed lighting are noticed. In many cases, this is perceived as clumsiness, senile decay or the glasses are blamed.
During your life, a natural loss of optic nerve fibres occur but in the case of glaucoma the rate of loss is increased.
In a few cases, glaucoma can occur in an acute form with heavy pains in the eyes, headache in the forehead, sudden reduction of eyesight within hours and nausea. The eye is fiery red and the pupil increases in size. This form of glaucoma requires acute treatment. Untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.