One of the unfortunate consequences of more people surviving childhood and living longer lives is that you start to see cases of cancer steadily increase. But while medical advances are helping to improve survival rates of cancer patients in high-income countries, the limited access to screening and treatment across Africa means that a growing number of people are dying young from largely preventable and treatable diseases. Because of this Africa is now in serious danger of sleepwalking into a cancer crisis. Read More
Category: Health News And Tips Around The Web
Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, becomes damaged. It can lead to loss of vision if not detected and treated early on.
It usually occurs when the fluid in the eye cannot drain properly, which increases the pressure inside the eye and puts pressure on the optic nerve.
Glaucoma is a common condition, but many people won’t realise they have it because it doesn’t always cause symptoms in the early stages.
It can affect people of all ages, including babies and young children, but is most common in adults in their 70s and 80s.
This page covers
- When to get medical advice
- Tests and diagnosis
Symptoms of glaucoma
Glaucoma doesn’t usually have any symptoms to begin with and is often only picked up during a routine eye test. Many people don’t realise they have it because it develops slowly over many years and tends to cause a loss of peripheral vision (the edge of your vision) at first. Both eyes are usually affected, although it may be worse in one eye. Without treatment, it can eventually lead to blindness.
Very occasionally, glaucoma can develop suddenly and cause:
- intense eye pain
- a red eye
- a headache
- tenderness around the eyes
- seeing rings around lights
- blurred vision
When to get medical advice
Visit an opticians or your GP if you have any concerns about your vision. If you have glaucoma, early diagnosis and treatment can help stop your vision getting worse. If you develop symptoms of glaucoma suddenly (see above), go to your nearest eye casualty unit or accident and emergency (A&E) department as soon as possible.
This is a medical emergency that may require immediate treatment.
Types of glaucoma
There are several different types of glaucoma.
Some of the main types are:
- primary open angle glaucoma – the most common type, which tends to develop slowly over many years
- primary angle closure glaucoma – an uncommon type that can develop slowly or quickly
- secondary glaucoma – glaucoma caused by an underlying eye condition, such as uveitis (inflammation of the eye)
- normal tension glaucoma – where the pressure inside the eye is at a normal level
- childhood glaucoma (congenital glaucoma) – a rare type that occurs in very young children, caused by an abnormality of the eye
Causes of glaucoma
Glaucoma is usually caused by a blockage in the part of the eye that allows fluid to drain from it. This can lead to a build-up of fluid and pressure in the eye and can damage the optic nerve.
It’s often unclear exactly what causes it, although there are some things that can increase your risk, including:
- your age – glaucoma becomes more likely as you get older and the most common type affects around 1 in 10 people over 75
- your ethnicity – people of African, Caribbean or Asian origin are at a higher risk of glaucoma
- your family history – you’re more likely to develop glaucoma if you have a parent or sibling with the condition
It’s not clear whether you can do anything to prevent glaucoma, but having regular eye tests will help ensure it’s picked up as early as possible.
Tests for glaucoma
Glaucoma can usually be detected during a routine eye test at an opticians, often before it causes any noticeable symptoms. You should have a routine eye test at least every two years. Find out if you’re eligible for free NHS eye tests. Several quick and painless tests can be carried out to check for glaucoma, including measurements of the pressure inside your eye and tests of your peripheral vision.
If tests suggest you have glaucoma, you should be referred to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to discuss treatment.
Treatments for glaucoma
It’s not possible to reverse any loss of vision that occurred before glaucoma was diagnosed, but treatment can help stop your vision getting any worse. The treatment recommended for you will depend on the type of glaucoma you have, but the main treatments are:
- eye drops – to reduce the pressure in your eyes
- laser treatment – to open up the blocked drainage tubes in your eyes or reduce the production of fluid in your eyes
- surgery – to improve the drainage of fluid from your eyes
You’ll also probably need regular appointments to monitor your condition and ensure treatment is working.
Outlook for glaucoma
The outlook for glaucoma largely depends on the type of glaucoma you have, but generally:
- it often results in some degree of permanent vision loss, although most people retain useful vision for life
- it may affect your ability to do certain tasks, such as driving
- only a small proportion of people will end up totally blind
The outlook is better the earlier glaucoma is diagnosed and treated.
This is why it’s so important to get your eyes tested regularly and to make sure you follow your recommended treatment plan.
Page last reviewed: 16/09/2016 NHS Choices
Copyright NHS Choices
Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, are the most common blood cells in the body. In fact, about a quarter of all cells in the body are red blood cells. Their primary function is to carry oxygen to all tissues of the body, picking up the oxygen from the lungs and releasing it as they enter the capillaries. Over 2.4 million new red blood cells are produced every second, and they survive in the body for up to 120 days. Read More
A body that lacks an adequate number of healthy red blood cells experiences a condition called anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your cells. Read More
By following a few recommendations before, during and after your blood donation can help you make your donation experience as safe, successful and pleasant as possible.
Before Your Donation
- Blood Donation Tip – Eat HealthyMaintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods, such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Drink an extra 16 oz. of water or nonalcoholic fluids before the donation.
- Eat a healthy meal before your donation. Avoid fatty foods, such as hamburgers, fries or ice cream before donating. (Fatty foods can affect the tests we do on your blood. If there is too much fat in your blood, your donation cannot be tested for infectious diseases and the blood will not be used for transfusion.)
- If you are a platelet donor, remember that your system must be free of aspirin for two days prior to donation.
During Your Donation
- Wear clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
- Let the person taking your blood know if you have a preferred arm and show them any good veins that have been used successfully in the
- past to draw blood
- Relax, listen to music, talk to other donors or read during the donation process.
- Take the time to enjoy a snack and a drink in the refreshments area immediately after donating.
After Your Donation
- Drink an extra four (8 ounce) glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol over the next 24 hours.
- Remove the wrap bandage (if you had one put on your arm) within the next hour.
- Keep the strip bandage on for the next several hours.
- To avoid a skin rash, clean the area around the strip bandage with soap and water.
- Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day.
- If the needle site starts to bleed, apply pressure to it and raise your arm straight up for about 5-10 minutes or until bleeding stops.
- If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness after donation, stop what you are doing and sit down or lie down until you feel better. Avoid performing any activity where fainting may lead to injury for at least 24 hours.Learn more about your need for iron after blood donation at www.redcrossblood.org/iron
Published by American National Red Cross
© 2017 The American National Red Cross
It’s usually men who say “Viva Viagra” for their erectile dysfunction. But the little blue pill may play a role in treating sexual dysfunction in some women, too. A growing number of studies seem to indicate that Viagra can increase sexual arousal in certain groups of women and break the symptoms of low libido or the more serious hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Read More
Dry January, aka ditching alcohol in the first month of the new year, is an annual tradition for many people. For some, it’s part of a New Year’s resolution to drink less, while others say it’s a good way to “detox” from excessive drinking over the holidays—but all swear that it’s going to do beneficial things for their health. Instagram is now flooded with #DryJanuary posts featuring mocktail recipes, pledges of healthy habits, and people joking about how much they’re already struggling with going alcohol-free for the month.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your baby — and there’s no better time to start than before your baby’s conceived. Luckily, there’s nothing easier or more effective than popping a prenatal vitamin. This daily pill is an insurance policy, offering you the security of knowing that your body is stocking up on the most essential baby-making vitamins it needs to conceive and nourish your baby-to-be through a healthy pregnancy. Here’s how prenatal vitamins benefit you, along with how to choose the best prenatal vitamin. Read More
If you’ve read enough of my past blogs, you’d think the whole world is experiencing dry, painful intercourse — and that without the benefit of a great lube, a local vaginal estrogen, ospemifene (a non-estrogen medication), or a CO2 laser treatment, women are doomed to a destiny of sandpaper sex or no sex. But that’s not the case. Read More