Glaucoma: Unnoticed Blind Spot – Health

Glaucoma: Unnoticed Blind Spot – Health
Glaucoma: Unnoticed Blind Spot – Health

Are you tripping more and more? Or do you increasingly run into people just like that? It may be your eyes. Recognize the early symptoms of glaucoma and prevent it from getting worse.

2 percent of people over 40 develop glaucoma. The risk of the disease increases slightly with age. Of all people over 80, 4 percent have glaucoma.

What’s going wrong?

About half of the patients have high intraocular pressure. As a result, the optic nerve dies. But people with normal eye pressure can also get glaucoma if they are increased sensitive to eye pressure. A poor blood supply to the optic nerve probably plays a role in this. Not everyone with high eye pressure automatically develops glaucoma.

And then?

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition in which the optic nerve becomes damaged. The images seen through the eyes no longer reach the brain. This can gradually lead to visual impairment and eventually to complete blindness.

What are the risk factors?

  • Being over 40 years old
  • Heredity (if there is a family history of glaucoma, you are more likely to have this eye disease)
  • Increased intraocular pressure
  • Asian or African descent
  • Severe nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Use of drugs such as corticosteroids (prednisone)
  • Previous eye injury
  • To smoke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart and vascular disease

Does an eye test make sense?

Yes. Have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist from the age of 40 if you have a higher risk because the disease runs in the family. With an eye pressure measurement and an examination of the condition of the optic nerve and the visual field, glaucoma can be diagnosed at an early stage. If that happens before the optic nerve is damaged, it can save your eyesight!

When should you see the ophthalmologist?

In the early stages you will notice little or nothing of glaucoma. The earliest symptoms are: tripping more often, bumping into people or things, or dropping something on the floor and then not being able to find it again. Even if you suddenly break into traffic, the alarm should go off.

How is it treated?

Damage to the eye caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, the progression of the disease can be stopped. In most cases, eye drops can reduce eye pressure. If drops do not work properly, the eye pressure can be lowered with pills, laser treatment or surgery.

You think you look fine

Hans Lemij (glaucoma specialist at Het Oogziekenhuis Rotterdam): “Glaucoma is the largest irreversible blinder in the world. It is a scary condition: at first you do not notice that you have it. Many publications tell you that the symptoms are duct vision and blind spots, but that is not correct. You do get blind spots, but you do not experience them as a blind spot. In glaucoma, the optic nerve slowly dies, the connection between the eye and brain. As a result, the brain does not receive enough information and then starts filling in that information itself. So you think that you see fine. In addition, not everyone with glaucoma has too high an eye pressure. Because of these two factors, the disease is often only discovered at a very late stage. Glaucoma is treatable, in the sense that further deterioration can be prevented. be slowed down or stopped.”

Major step taken in early detection of glaucoma

Major strides are being made in glaucoma research. For example, researchers – including Hans Lemij – succeeded in making the diagnosis ‘glaucoma’ 35 percent better in May 2022 with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Researchers have developed an algorithm that allows non-glaucoma specialists to diagnose glaucoma just as well as glaucoma specialists. Until now, even in a developed and rich country like the Netherlands, the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment were started in only 50 percent of cases.

Computer learns to detect glaucoma

The researchers wondered whether it would be possible to ‘teach’ a computer to detect glaucoma well enough from a picture of the retina of the eye (eye fundus). This would enable large-scale screening for glaucoma and thus prevent blindness and visual impairment due to glaucoma in many people worldwide. The project started with setting up a photo database. Fundus photos of more than 110,000 eyes of people of diverse ethnicity – a representative mix of the world’s population – were assessed. After intensive training, 20 optometrists/ophthalmologists from the Netherlands and abroad were selected to label the pictures one-by-one with ‘glaucoma’, ‘no glaucoma’ or ‘not assessable’.

An AI challenge

The next step was to build an algorithm based on these fundus photos. A challenge was organized in early 2022 in collaboration with the Artificial Intelligence department of the University of Amsterdam. The winning group achieved an 85 percent diagnosis rate of recognizing glaucoma regardless of ethnicity and regardless of the fundus camera used. That’s as good as a glaucoma specialist would.

What now?

Research has shown that the algorithm is widely applicable and easily accessible. The next step is to disseminate and implement this knowledge more widely. Hans Lemij : “When Koen Vermeer (advisor at the Rotterdam Ophthalmic Institute – ed.) and I started this project about three years ago, we had a dream. A dream that we would find a way to better diagnose glaucoma and thus For many people, potentially blindness can be prevented. Once diagnosed, most glaucoma patients can be treated well with medication. In the future, everyone may be able to have an annual x-ray of their eyes taken from their opticians and within 5 minutes knows if he or she may have glaucoma, because it could be that easy with this development in the future.”

Source: Plusonline.nl

Good for the eyes

You can easily reduce the risk of visual impairment and blindness due to glaucoma.

  • Have your eyes checked regularly. Especially if there are risk factors for glaucoma, it is a must to have your eyes checked regularly. Are you suddenly less sharp? Always have your eyes checked immediately.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for glaucoma.

2 percent of people over 40 develop glaucoma. The risk of the disease increases slightly with age. Of all people over 80, 4 percent have glaucoma. About half of the patients have high eye pressure. As a result, the optic nerve dies. But people with normal eye pressure can also get glaucoma if they are increased sensitive to eye pressure. A poor blood supply to the optic nerve probably plays a role in this. Not everyone with high eye pressure automatically develops glaucoma. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition in which the optic nerve becomes damaged. The images seen through the eyes no longer reach the brain. This can gradually lead to visual impairment and eventually to complete blindness. Have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist from the age of 40 if you have a higher risk because the disease runs in the family. With an eye pressure measurement and an examination of the condition of the optic nerve and the visual field, glaucoma can be diagnosed at an early stage. If this happens before the optic nerve is damaged, it can save your eyesight! In the early stages, you will hardly notice glaucoma. The earliest symptoms are: tripping more often, bumping into people or things, or dropping something on the floor and then not being able to find it again. Even if you suddenly break into traffic, the alarm should go off. Damage to the eye caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. However, the progression of the disease can be stopped. In most cases, eye drops can reduce eye pressure. If drops do not work properly, the eye pressure can be lowered with pills, laser treatment or surgery.Hans Lemij (glaucoma specialist at Het Oogziekenhuis Rotterdam): “Glaucoma is the largest irreversible blinder in the world. It is a scary condition: you do not notice that at first. you have it. Many publications say that the symptoms are duct vision and blind spots, but that is not correct. You do get blind spots, but you do not experience them as a blind spot. In glaucoma, the optic nerve slowly dies; the connection between eye and brain. As a result, the brain does not receive enough information and then starts to fill in that information itself. So you think that you see well. Moreover, not everyone with glaucoma has too high an eye pressure. Because of these two factors, the disease is often only diagnosed in a detected very late. Glaucoma is treatable, in the sense that further deterioration can be slowed down or stopped. put in glaucoma research. For example, researchers – including Hans Lemij – succeeded in making the diagnosis ‘glaucoma’ 35 percent better in May 2022 with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Researchers have developed an algorithm that allows non-glaucoma specialists to diagnose glaucoma just as well as glaucoma specialists. Until now, even in a developed and rich country such as the Netherlands, the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment were started in only 50 percent of cases. wondered whether it would be possible to ‘teach’ a computer to detect glaucoma well enough from a picture of the retina of the eye (eye fundus). This would enable large-scale screening for glaucoma and thus prevent blindness and visual impairment due to glaucoma in many people worldwide. The project started with setting up a photo database. Fundus photos of more than 110,000 eyes of people of diverse ethnicity – a representative mix of the world’s population – were assessed. After intensive training, 20 optometrists/ophthalmologists from the Netherlands and abroad were selected to label the pictures one-by-one with ‘glaucoma’, ‘no glaucoma’ or ‘not assessable’. The next step was to build an algorithm based on based on these fundus photos. A challenge was organized in early 2022 in collaboration with the Artificial Intelligence department of the University of Amsterdam. The winning group achieved an 85 percent diagnosis rate of recognizing glaucoma regardless of ethnicity and regardless of the fundus camera used. That is just as good as a glaucoma specialist would do. Research has shown that the algorithm can be used widely and easily accessible. The next step is to disseminate and implement this knowledge more widely. Hans Lemij : “When Koen Vermeer (advisor at the Rotterdam Ophthalmic Institute – ed.) and I started this project about three years ago, we had a dream. A dream that we would find a way to better diagnose glaucoma and thus For many people, potentially blindness can be prevented. Once diagnosed, most glaucoma patients can be treated well with medication. In the future, everyone may be able to have an annual x-ray of their eyes taken from their opticians and within 5 minutes knows whether he or she may have glaucoma, because it could be that easy with this development in the future.”Source: Plusonline.nl


The article is in Dutch

Tags: Glaucoma Unnoticed Blind Spot Health

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