Myths and Facts about Glaucoma
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease involving the optic nerve of the eye. Many people fall for the misconceptions surrounding it . Let us demystify some of them.
Myth #1 : Glaucoma affects only the elderly people
Fact: While the incidence of Glaucoma is higher among the elderly, Glaucoma can affect anybody at any age, even newborns. It is important to get regular eye examinations even when you are young and have no apparent eye problems to ensure Glaucoma is detected early. Vision loss due to Glaucoma cannot be reversed so early detection is crucial.
Myth #2: If I have good vision, I do not have Glaucoma
Fact: This is a huge misconception. Most types of Glaucoma will not have any symptoms and the vision may also be 6/6 till late stages which is why Glaucoma is called the “silent thief of sight”. Often people are surprised when the diagnosis of Glaucoma is made. The later the disease is diagnosed and treated, the worse the long-term outcome.
Myth #3: No one in my family has Glaucoma so I won’t get the disease.
Fact: While family history of Glaucoma is a risk factor for developing this eye disease, there are many Glaucoma patients who do not have anybody in their family who has Glaucoma. Sometimes family history may not be there because all family members were never properly examined for Glaucoma which is why it is important that all patients who are diagnosed with Glaucoma get their family members examined for it.
Myth #4: Glaucoma is there only if I have high Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP).
Fact: While most people with Glaucoma will have high Intra Ocular Pressure (IOP) and it is definitely a risk factor, many patients may never have an increased IOP and yet have a severe type of Glaucoma called ‘Normal Tension Glaucoma’. On the other hand some people with high IOP may not have Glaucoma - this is called Ocular Hypertension.