Your 7 Most Common Glaucoma Questions Answered

People commonly search the internet for questions surrounding a condition, illness and/or any medical-related information in the hope of self-diagnosis. However, more often than not, the information found online is too generalised, inaccurate or may point to a condition completely unrelated to the person in question’s query.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding glaucoma to shed light on this condition. The information acquired to help write this article was obtained during an interview with Gokulan Ratnarajan, an ophthalmic consultant and Glaucoma surgeon at The McIndoe Centre.
First, let’s detail the different types of glaucoma.

1. What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease which effects the eye, specifically the optic nerve. This is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain, allowing impulses to be sent to the brain which then interprets them as images. When the optic nerve is damaged, pressure can build in the eye which leads to poor drainage, effecting the patient’s vision.

2. What are the Most Common Glaucoma Types?

The main types of glaucoma are: Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma, Secondary Glaucoma and the most common, Open Angle Glaucoma. While there may seem to be various types of glaucoma, the symptoms of each condition remain similar, mainly in that each type causes your eyesight to deteriorate.

Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG) is thought to be the most dangerous because it can be very difficult to spot. It’s also known as the ‘silent thief of sight’. OAG is caused when your eye’s drainage system (or channels) become blocked over time, leading to a build-up in pressure. Spotting OAG early is essential, which is why every medical body strongly encourages patients to have an eye check-up once every one or two years to make sure your eyes are in healthy condition.

Secondary Glaucoma differs to OAG as it is characterised by an underlying problem. An example of Secondary Glaucoma would be if a patient’s eye was inflamed and therefore caused Secondary Glaucoma, whereas other types of glaucoma aren’t caused by previous eye conditions.

Acute Angle Glaucoma (AAC) is a less common form of glaucoma which happens when the fluid in your eye becomes blocked swiftly and suddenly. This can be a serious concern as it causes the pressure inside the effect eye to increase at a very fast rate. AAC will require immediate medical attention because of how swiftly it’s able to cause vision impairment.

glaucoma

3. What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

The symptoms are often difficult to identify until the disease is in its advanced stages, hence it’s alternative name ‘the silent thief of sight’. However, while symptoms are hard to spot, having regular eye check-ups can help identify glaucoma and therefore apply appropriate medication to help prevent it worsening.

4. How do you Treat Glaucoma?

The most common way to treat glaucoma is by using eye drops. This is the treatment you will be prescribed upon first diagnosis. The second stage of treatment usually involves more advanced methods, such as laser treatment or surgery – but this is primarily used in the advanced stages of the disease. However, glaucoma treatment has seen vast improvements over the last few years, with glaucoma operations becoming safer and less invasive.

5. Is there Any Way to Prevent Glaucoma?

Starting treatment as early as possible will help keep glaucoma from worsening over time. If it is caught early, treatment options are available, but there are currently no treatment options that reverse the effects of glaucoma.

6. What Age do People Commonly Encounter Glaucoma?

Glaucoma becomes more common as you age, but it can strike at any time. Children are also at risk, but it is rare. The condition is known as Congenital Glaucoma and it’s caused by an abnormality of the eye. This type of glaucoma is usually diagnosed within the first year of a child’s life and the most common cause is the child’s eye failing to develop properly. Similarly, Congenital Glaucoma can be inherited.

7. How Common is Glaucoma?

In the UK alone, there are thought to be around half a million people suffering with glaucoma. Shockingly, there are many more who have not been diagnosed, let alone treated for it. This is one of the core reasons why it’s become the most common cause of blindness across the globe.

If you, or one of you friends or family members are worried about the effects of glaucoma, be sure to visit your local eye clinic for a check-up. They are painless and only take between 10-20 minutes, unless other tests are required. Treatments for glaucoma are constantly being developed and we advise that you have regular eye check-ups at least once a year to ensure your eyes remain in a healthy condition.

How to Choose the Best Bed for the Disabled

Most of us spend around a third of our lives in bed, so we think it’s pretty important to ensure that the time spent in bed is as comfortable as possible. Here at Grosvenor Mobility, one of our priorities is ensuring it’s easy for our customers to get in and out of bed, move around, and sleep comfortably. A good night’s sleep isn’t just essential for the well-being of a person, but it also for some can mean the difference between being able to complete daily tasks or activities.

What’s Important for People with Disabilities?

For people with disabilities, it is extra important that beds are comfortable because they may have restricted movement during the night. Also, certain disabilities may require spending more time in bed than usual, which is why it’s so important to choose a specialised bed that provides comfort and support.

So, how do you choose the best bed for the disabled?

Consider the Individual’s Disability and Needs

Every person is different and disabilities cause individuals to struggle in different ways. Some disabilities cause a person to struggle physically with movements such as getting in an out of bed or changing position in the night. While other disabilities may cause difficulty breathing, limited circulation, or aches and pains.

So, before purchasing a bed for a disabled person it’s important to consider their needs and the bed features that would be most beneficial for them. Whether you have a disability yourself or you care for a disabled person, hopefully this guide will help you understand how to choose the best bed to benefit the individual and their unique needs.

How Physical Disabilities Affect a Person’s Sleep

Individuals with physical disabilities (where motor functions and physical abilities are affected) such as Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injury, polio, arthritis, or a limb amputation. These physical ailments or disabilities can be associated with significant discomfort and even pain throughout the day. And for many people, the pain can be worsened at night – often making it difficult for affected individuals to get comfortable or fall asleep. For many, they often wake up throughout the night because of the pain.

Adjustable Bed Frames for People with Disabilities

Adjustable bed frames are ideal for people with disabilities that affect their sleep or physical movement. Today, due to modern technology, most adjustable beds are electric and remote-controlled, allowing the adjustment of the sleeper with minimal effort.

Bed for Disabled Person

Most adjustable beds can be easily raised at the foot or head of the bed, providing people with disabilities the relief from aches and pains they need to get a comfortable night’s sleep.

Orthopaedic Mattresses on a Bed for Disabled People

After choosing the bed for a disabled person, the mattress is another important factor. Orthopaedic mattresses are specifically designed for the comfort of disabled people. These firm, reliable, and durable mattresses provide individual’s the support they need – more so than standard shop-bought mattresses.

The addition of an orthopaedic mattress to an adjustable bed can make all the difference to an individual, helping keep them comfortable all-night long. It is advisable to spend some time trying out different mattresses to find the most suitable design. Finding the best mattress can be especially important for certain disabilities where staying in bed longer than usual may be necessary.

Electric Beds for the Disabled

Finding an electric bed for the disabled can be tricky as there are so many offers out there. Most mobility furniture companies will sell a variety of high-quality electric beds that have been specifically built with disabilities, physical ailments, or mobility problems in mind.

Electric beds are ideal for people with disabilities as they may be unable to change position throughout the night, to reduce pressure. People with physical disabilities can find it difficult to move around during the night or may be completely unable to do so without assistance. This can mean they remain in one position for an extremely sustained period of time, which can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.

The electric bed is designed to be specially adjusted to suit the needs of the individual. Whether they would like the foot of the bed raised or the head, more support under the back, or a curved mattress, with the electric adjustable bed they can achieve the ultimate sleeping position for them at the click of a button.

Other Considerations to Keep in Mind

When choosing a bed for a disabled person, some other things you might want to consider are the size of the bed, the price, the materials used in making the bed, and any accessories that will enhance a person’s comfort.

Free Demonstration Service

Some companies such as Grosvenor Mobility offer a free demonstration service. This can be useful as an expert can show you all the features and demonstrate how the bed works before you buy. An electric, adjustable bed can be an expensive purchase which is why it’s important to shop around. The benefits afforded by an adjustable bed however can add to the quality of life and make for a much more comfortable sleep, so choose wisely.

Source: Grosvenor Mobility