For a long time, Elaine Rivera had difficulty driving, especially at night. She also suffered from headaches, with blurring of vision occurring almost every other day. In February 2014, she was diagnosed with glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that result in optic nerve damage, usually characterized by increased eye pressure.
Asian Eye Institute glaucoma specialist Dr. Imelda Yap-Veloso says: “The eye has a ‘drainage system’ that allows fluid to exit the eyes. If this drainage system does not work, the pressure then builds up. This increased eye pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to permanent loss of peripheral vision.”
Glaucoma has no obvious manifestations in its early stages.
“Glaucoma is often painless, but depending on the type and extent of the condition, a person may suffer from eye pain, nausea, blurry vision, eye redness, gradual loss of vision and tunnel vision in the advanced stages,” Yap-Veloso explains.
The damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, but treatments like eye drops, lasers and other surgeries are aimed at lowering eye pressure to help preserve remaining vision.
Yap-Veloso strongly advises patients to undergo eye checkups every year.
“A complete eye checkup is highly recommended to those who are aged 40 and above, have high eye pressure, a family history of glaucoma, and suffer from diabetes or hypertension.”
Rivera immediately underwent laser surgery upon learning about her eye condition. “It’s a good thing my eye condition was detected early. I no longer suffer from headaches and, more importantly, I was able to save my vision.
I can still do daily tasks and even my hobbies like watching movies and reading books.”
Asian Eye offers comprehensive eye checkups and glaucoma screening to prevent vision loss. For more info, call 898-2020. (Story/ photos by Charizze Henson)