El glaucoma sin tratamiento causa ceguera irreversible

Esta es una enfermedad visual degenerativa que puede resultar en la pérdida completa de la visión si no se hace una detección temprana y un tratamiento oportuno. El glaucoma es considerado la segunda causa de ceguera en el mundo, y la primera de ceguera irreversible.

José Toledo, oftalmólogo y cirujano del Centro Médico de Caracas, informa que, aunque en Venezuela no hay índices oficiales, “algunos trabajos aislados, con muestras poblacionales pequeñas, reportan su aparición en 2 a 4 % de la población, cifras que coinciden con las de la Organización Mundial de la Salud”.

Según el especialista, esta enfermedad es más frecuente después de los 40 años. “Sin embargo, el glaucoma congénito o glaucoma juvenil, aunque son menos comunes, afectan a la población de menor edad con resultados devastadores si no son tratados a tiempo”.

El glaucoma se caracteriza por daño progresivo en el nervio óptico y está asociado a múltiples causas. El más común es el glaucoma primario.

“Además, existe un grupo de glaucomas secundarios cuya aparición se asocia al uso prolongado de medicamentos; traumatismos, patologías o tumores oculares, o por cirugías de la vista previas”, agrega.

Otros factores de riesgo pueden ser antecedentes familiares, ser afrodescendiente, alta presión intraocular, miopía, uso prolongado de gotas con esteroides y tener más de 40 años. “También, la diabetes pueden inducir el glaucoma, así como la hipertensión, la obesidad, el hábito tabáquico y el consumo de alcohol”.

El oftalmólogo  indica,  el glaucoma sólo presenta síntomas cuando ya hay una pérdida importante de la visión, pero sí puede detectarse tempranamente con evaluaciones médicas de rutina.

“Los pacientes sanos pueden visitar al oftalmólogo cada dos años y las personas con factores de riesgo deberían ser evaluados al menos cada año”, recomienda Toledo.

Referente a la prevención, “los chequeos médicos son la mejor manera de hacerlo. Además, hay estudios que demuestran que la actividad física disminuye la presión intraocular; y una dieta balanceada y adecuado control cardiovascular y metabólico ayudan a evitar muchas enfermedades que pueden a su vez asociarse con la aparición del glaucoma”.


El Universal

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