What is glaucoma and how it affects us to drive?


normal Image vs perceived image with glaucoma – Photo: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health

on the occasion of the day of the glaucoma, the 12 of march, we took the opportunity to explain what it is, what affects us the driving, and if we can do something to prevent it. It is a disease of the eye known as the “blindness silent”, which affects 1.5% of the population, or 2% above 40 years

it Is the second leading cause of blindness

This disease is, in principle, asymptomatic and painless, the visual field is reduced, but not the acuity. In other words, is seen with the same sharpness, but the edges of the image are lost, to degenerate into a vision-type tunnel, or as if we were watching through a spyglass.

In principle, we can touch anyone, but there is a greater predisposition in people who suffer from diabetes, myopia, high, with hypertension or circulatory problems, by family inheritance, etc mainly Affects the adults and elderly people, is a function of the age.


Approximately one million of spaniards may be affected, but half unknown

To be the deterioration of eyesight as progressive, many victims are unaware of their condition and become accustomed to the loss of visual field. A simple review of the eye would discover the problem, and take corrective actions to reduce the incidence of their effects.

To this day, there is no cure, but treatment

In most cases, glaucoma is caused by the excess liquid eye, that is not drained of ocular form. This excess produces a excess pressure that is affecting the optic nerve to disable it.

Between the 1% and 5% of traffic accidents are due to visual problems, according to Prof. Dr. Benitez del Castillo, professor of Ophthalmology, COMPLUTENSE university of madrid. The groups most vulnerable to drivers with glaucoma are pedestrian and those that go on two wheels: cyclists and motorcyclists.

In what affects the driving?

By reducing the visual field, are lost references side, so that it is necessary to resort more frequently to the mirrors. The problem is exacerbated especially in conditions of low visibility, such as rain or fog.

glaucoma is not detected with regular testing (examination psycho-technical) to whom they submit the drivers every 10 years or every 5 in the case of being very old. It is necessary to perform a specific test to determine if the driver is no longer fit to lead.

does not exist cure, all you can do is to slow down its progression. In a first step of action, would be used as eye drops under medical prescription. On a second level, would be the correction by laser, which is not useful for all patients. Finally, it would be the surgery to improve the drainage of fluid in the eye.

The vision tunnel is not a problem driving in a straight line, the problem is what happens on the sides and is not perceived by the driver. Therefore, a driver is affected by glaucoma may be a risk to the public, in addition to himself. The greatest risk is in the twists and turns and overtaking.

around two-thirds of the affected drive without being aware of it

The progressive blindness due to glaucoma is irreversible, so that it will not improve the situation in any case. Those drivers who notice that every time you have to use more mirrors, and although they are careful to have scares or get a puff, should be a review.

As often happens in the world of medicine, the frequent revisions in the ophthalmologist may reveal the problem in time, before the patient knows what happens to him, to be able to perform an appropriate treatment. The security of all may be in play.