Glaucoma is a highly misunderstood disease. Frequently, patients do not even realize that they are affected by the disease and rarely have an inkling about its severity. Here are the most common myths and truths about glaucoma :
Myth #1: Glaucoma is a disease that only happens to older people.
Everyone is at risk for glaucoma from babies to elderly people. But, older people are at a higher risk for glaucoma. However babies (approximately 1 out of every 10,000 babies are born with glaucoma) and young adults can also get glaucoma.
Myth #2: Glaucoma is curable.
Glaucoma is not curable, however, it is manageable. But first it must be diagnosed. Often glaucoma can be managed with medication and/or surgery. This means that further loss of vision may be halted. However, glaucoma is a chronic disease that must be treated for lifetime.
Myth #3: There are symptoms that will warn you of glaucoma.
With open angle glaucoma, the most common form, there are virtually no symptoms. There is usually no pain involved with the rise in eye pressure. Loss of vision begins with peripheral or side vision. This type of vision loss can be easily compensated for (by turning the head to the side) and may not be noticed until significant vision is lost. The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to be tested so that if you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately.
Myth #4: Glaucoma does not cause blindness.
Glaucoma can infact cause blindness if it is left untreated. And unfortunately, many patients do not realise that are afflicted with glaucoma until they have lost nearly all vision.