Glaucoma is a set of condition that that talks about the damage that affects the optic nerve that is mainly caused by elevated pressure in the eye. Once it is neither treated well nor treated at all, it can lead to blindness. It is often caused by too much pressure either in one eye, or the two eyes but it is possible to have normal level of pressure in the eye and still have glaucoma.
It is only an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist that can spot glaucoma’s early signs. They can help to begin glaucoma treatment before it results into vision loss.
Once one is diagnosed with high eye pressure or the early signs of glaucoma, the best to do is to do routine check-ups and quick glaucoma treatment so as to either prevent or slow vision loss. The least you should do is panic.
Causes of Glaucoma
As stated earlier, when the pressure in the eye is higher than normal, Glaucoma occurs. A quick discussion on the eye anatomy will help us understand how glaucoma comes to be.
There is a clear fluid in the front of the eye that is called Aqueous Humor, this nourishes the tissues inside the eye and it ensures the eye maintains its normal shape. The Ciliary Body (found at the back of the iris) constantly produces the Aqueous Humor. The Aqueous Humor is drained from the eye through a mesh-like tube called Trabecular Meshwork. This located at the angle where Cornea and Iris meet inside the eye.
Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is the balance between Aqueous Humor produced and the amount that us drained through the Drainage Angle. Once the Drainage Angle is clogged, the Aqueous Humor can’t drain fast enough thus making the IOP increase beyond normal, this will birth glaucoma.
Other Reasons for Glaucoma Formation:
• Family history of glaucoma
• Hereditary predisposition to glaucoma
• Underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
• Regular use of certain medications, including steroids
• Thin corneas
• When one’s eye condition is either too nearsighted or farsighted
• Being over age 60
Sometimes, it doesn’t have a definite cause.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
The symptoms vary on the severity and type of glaucoma. Routine eye check-up is needed to help detect glaucoma early. Some general symptoms includes:
• Eye pressure is elevated
• Blurry vision
• Eye pain
• Blind spots in your eyes
• Eye Redness
• Cloudy eyes
Types of Glaucoma
Several types of Glaucoma exist, they include:
• Open-angle glaucoma: It is also known as the Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG). This form is very common. The drainage is not clogged, but the Aqueous Humor doesn’t drain as fast as it is meant to.
• Angle-closure glaucoma: It is also called a Closed-Angle Glaucoma. It is a rare type of glaucoma. It occurs when the iris bends forward thus cutting off the drainage angle completely. It can have sudden appearances and can cause severe pain and nausea.
• Secondary glaucoma: This occurs when another eye condition or injury causes the glaucoma. It can either be open-angle or angle-closure glaucoma.
• Developmental glaucoma: Also called congenital glaucoma, childhood glaucoma, or pediatric glaucoma,
Test & Diagnosis of Glaucoma
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will perform a number of tests to determine if you have glaucoma or are at risk for the disease.
One of these tests checks the pressure inside your eyes, or IOP. This is called tonometry. Many people (even some eye care professionals) may call this the “glaucoma test,” but in fact, your IOP measurement is just one factor in determining your risk of glaucoma.
Tonometry testing is a quick, painless, and important part of your routine eye exams.
There are two basic types of tonometry tests to check your IOP:
Treatment of Glaucoma
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