04 Feb Glaucoma Symptoms May Be Treatable With Stem Cell Therapy
Losing your vision can be a devastating loss of independence. The activities one was able to do before may no longer be possible. Glaucoma affects many older people who assume that losing your sight is a sign of normal aging. Glaucoma is not a normal part of the aging process, but a disease that causes pressure to build in the eye and damage the retina, causing vision damage and loss.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of several similar eye conditions that damage the optic nerve vital for proper vision. Abnormally high pressure in your eye often is the cause of this damage. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Your eye constantly makes aqueous humor. As new aqueous flows into your eye, the same amount should drain out. The fluid drains out through an area called the drainage angle. This process keeps pressure in the eye, called intraocular pressure, stable. But if the drainage angle is not working properly, fluid builds up. The pressure inside the eye rises, damaging the optic nerve. The optic nerve is made of more than a million tiny nerve fibers. It is like an electric cable made up of many small wires. As these nerve fibers die, you will develop blind spots in your vision. You may not notice these blind spots until most of your optic nerve fibers have died. If all of the fibers die, you will become blind. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults. Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs.
The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage. Because vision loss due to glaucoma can’t be recovered, it’s important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of your eye pressure so a diagnosis can be made in its early stages and treated appropriately. If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. If you have the condition, you’ll generally need treatment for the rest of your life. Glaucoma tends to run in families. In some people, scientists have identified genes related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage. The more common treatment method for this condition is medicated eye drops. More severe cases of glaucoma may require laser surgery or invasive eye surgeries. After treatment, follow-ups with a physician are necessary to ensure the disease does not come back or continue to progress. New treatments are being considered to alleviate glaucoma symptoms like stem cell therapy.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat My Glaucoma Symptoms?
Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that is incurable and can eventually cause total blindness. Stem cell therapy is being considered as a treatment option for glaucoma eye pressure and optic nerve damage. Some patients do not respond to traditional treatment methods and have very few options after they have been attempted. Stem cells can repair dead and damaged nerve cells. They could potentially improve the damaged optic nerve and regenerate newer, healthier cells. More research needs to be done before it is a viable treatment option for glaucoma.