Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
The disease causes a gradual loss of vision that damages the optic nerve.
Symptoms aren’t always obvious, and often appear only after vision loss has started.
Early detection can control the disease, but treatment isn’t always successful.
Some patients and doctors turn to alternative treatments in an effort to control glaucoma.
One such alternative is the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields commonly known as PEMFs.
How Does Glaucoma Affect the Eye?
Glaucoma increases the pressure of a fluid in the eye.
This is generally manageable if the disease is detected early.
But when the disease goes untreated, partial vision loss or total blindness can occur.
The damage is caused by the increased fluid pressure in the eye.
The increased pressure damages the optic nerve.
This is important because the optic nerve connects the brain to the eye.
The optic nerve sends signals to the brain which the brain translates into images.
A damaged optic nerve is unable to function properly.
And as a result, the brain fails to receive the correct information.
To better understand glaucoma, it helps to know a bit about the structure of the eye.
The front of the eye is known as the anterior chamber.
Clear liquid flows through this chamber in the eye.
The liquid keeps the eye lubricated by bathing and nourishing surrounding tissues.
Without this liquid, the eye would become unhealthy and dirty.
If the liquid doesn’t flow properly, then it builds up in the anterior chamber and increases the pressure.
The constant pressure pushing against the optic nerve eventually causes damage.
Eyesight is affected, and in many cases, total blindness occurs.
Recognizing the Symptoms and Types of Glaucoma
Closed-angle glaucoma is sometimes known as acute glaucoma.
This is a fast occurring form of the disease that occurs when the eye’s drainage system is blocked.
Closed-angle glaucoma appears suddenly and causes the patient to experience pain and vision loss.
Blurred vision, severe headaches, eye pain, and nausea are common.
Since this form of the disease often produces symptoms fairly quickly, patients are more likely to receive timely medical attention.
Open-angle glaucoma is often referred to as chronic glaucoma.
This is the form of the disease caused by a slow build up in eye fluid pressure.
Normal tension, secondary, and pigmentary glaucoma are all types of open-angle glaucoma.
Normal tension glaucoma occurs in patients who are sensitive to normal levels of eye fluid pressure.
Although the pressure is normal, the patient’s eye responds as if the pressure is too strong.
Secondary glaucoma is caused by another eye disease or some sort of trauma or tumor that affects the eye.
And pigmentary glaucoma is an inherited form of the disease that affects males more than females.
Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly.
The main symptoms are gradual vision loss and tunnel vision.
Patients with open-angle glaucoma are less likely to receive treatment in a timely manner.
It’s because the symptoms often develop slowly and appear when damage has already occurred.
Glaucoma Causes and Treatments
Secondary glaucoma can have several causes.
Some possible causes include other eye diseases, diabetes, tumor, and several other possibilities.
The elderly, and people of East Asian, African American, and Hispanic descent are at the greatest risk.
Primary glaucoma develops without a known cause.
Prescription eye drops are the first line of defense against glaucoma.
The second line of defense is often an oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitor.
If these two options fail to produce results, then surgery may become necessary.
Some patients prefer to try PEMF therapy as an alternative to traditional treatment.
How PEMF Therapy Affects Glaucoma
PEMF therapy involves the use of pulsed electromagnetic fields.
The pulses penetrate and stimulate damaged cells in the eye.
Surrounding areas are affected as well.
Mats, rings, paddles, or mats are applied to the body, and the pulses of energy provide cellular stimulation.
These fields of energy are believed to help the body heal itself.
Studies show that PEMF therapy is sometimes effective in treating glaucoma.
The success rate depends on several factors, including how soon treatment is begun.
When treatment is a success, PEMF can possibly slow the progression of glaucoma.
This treatment can sometimes reduce symptoms as well.
Early studies done in Eastern Europe show a favorable result when treating glaucoma with PEMF treatment.
The Future for PEMF Therapy and Glaucoma
As more studies are performed, doctors and patients will learn more about the effects of PEMF on glaucoma.
Although some patients desire alternative treatment methods, that doesn’t mean that other methods should be ignored.
Glaucoma is a serious disease that can lead to blindness.
Considering the seriousness of the disease, it’s worth considering all possible means of treatment.
The key to successful treatment is to catch the disease early.
Early intervention can slow the progression of the disease.
Successful treatment can also address glaucoma symptoms.
Untreated glaucoma can lead to pain and blindness, so seeking treatment as soon as possible is necessary.
Most patients will start with traditional forms of treatment.
These treatments include prescription eye drops, medication, and even eye surgery.
But sometimes traditional methods of treatment aren’t effective.
That’s when a patient might start to consider alternative forms of treatment, such as PEMF.
PEMF therapy has no known side effects.
And unlike with medications, there’s no risk of developing an addiction.
PEMF can also be used for long periods of time, even on a daily basis.
PEMF therapy can possibly reduce the pressure that causes damage to the optic nerve.
That helps prevent further damage and can reduce the patient’s risk of blindness.
Glaucoma patients should take time to research PEMF therapy studies.
An online search will provide more information about recent studies.
There’s some evidence that PEMF might even help prevent or reduce the risks of developing conditions other than glaucoma.
Patients should speak with their doctor about PEMF therapy and glaucoma before stopping traditional medical treatments.
A home PEMF device can possibly be used along with traditional treatments.