Glaucoma is also known as "silent blindness" because it has no symptoms and visual loss affects the peripheral visual field.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve treated in ophthalmology in which the nerve fiber layer specifically injured retinal. Since the damaged tissue does not recover, we can say that it is a disease that we anticipate, because we can not restore lost vision. Glaucoma is a disease that affects 1% to 8% of the population. According to the WHO (2002) it is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
The difficulty in diagnosing this disease lies in the absence of symptoms in the beginning and that is why it is called 'the silent blindness'. The visual loss goes unnoticed by affecting the peripheral visual field, what we know as 'sideways'.
With the aim of early diagnosis, ophthalmologists intraocular pressure took our patients, because the intraocular pressure is a major risk factor for glaucoma. To be other important risk factors such as family history, the presence of high myopia and race among others, take the intraocular pressure is not sufficient to rule out glaucoma. For this reason, it is always necessary to make an assessment of the optic nerve, by ophthalmoscopy, or more sensitive tests to quantify the injury: evidence of specific image to the optic nerve, and functional tests such as visual field to detect vision loss peripheral. With proper scans can detect glaucomatous damage from the start and assess their progress.
If the patient has glaucoma or high risk of suffering should be initiated individualized treatment. The only treatment to date has demonstrated efficacy against glaucoma is decreasing intraocular pressure. This effect is achieved by instillation of drops hypotensive, laser treatment or surgery.
It is our commitment as ophthalmologists not only understand the disease, the latest and best techniques of study and treatment, but also properly inform our patients and be their support to the concern of the potential loss of vision. Thus we get the word glaucoma not panic but confronts with confidence, perseverance and success guarantees.