Eye disorders such as glaucoma can increase an eye’s sensitivity to light. Medications for treating these disorders, even when aiding vision, can actually make light sensitivity matters worse.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions involving a damaged optic nerve, and resulting vision impairment. The cause of these conditions is the build-up of fluid pressure in the eye. The pressure in the eye changes over the course of daily living, effected by sleep, exercise, fluid intake, heart rate, respiration, some drugs and alcohol and activities such as playing woodwind instruments. In many case these factors, and caffeine intake, exacerbate pre-existing glaucoma conditions, but have no discernable effect on otherwise healthy patients.
The build-up of eye pressure in glaucoma is due to the blocking of drainage canals. These various types of glaucoma are concerned with different reasons for this blockage. In some cases the iris moves, preventing fluid drainage; in other cases the drainage canals are blocked by particles, such as pigment cells or protein fibres. All cases result in vision loss, sometime gradual, that is irreversible.
Glaucoma is often painless, and only noticed as the field of vision becomes limited. Any change in vision should be immediately reported to an optometrist or Ophthalmologist Regular eye exams should detect glaucoma problems while still in the earliest development stages.
The causes of glaucoma are still not completely understood. Diet does not appear to have any significant influence, though drugs and caffeine exacerbate the condition in those already suffering. Glaucoma is more common in women, and some types of glaucoma are more prevalent in some ethnic groups, though the ailment does exist in all human populations.
The sensitivity that glaucoma suffers experience to UV light can be helped with good quality UV glasses and shade from a hat. Glasses need not be the most expensive type, but they should be certified UV400 or provide UVA and UVB protection.
Many types of glaucoma can be treated with medication and surgery; delaying treatment is very risky. Seek professional help at the first sign of the condition; many individuals with glaucoma receive early treatment and retain effective eyesight for many decades.
Talk to All4eyes, Sydney Optometrists, for an eye exam or any vision concerns.