Glaucoma Details

Glaucoma Details

What is Glaucoma?

The eye is like a balloon filled with watery substance. This fluid which is being continuously secreted and drained out at the same time.

In glaucoma the out flow of this fluid is stopped or reduced, thus leading to accumulation and increase in the pressure of the eye.

Glaucoma is a disease that can lead to blindness or loss of vision. It is caused by damage to the eye’s optic nerve. If detected and treated early, permanent damage can be minimized or even avoided. Once damage occurs, however, it cannot be reversed.

There are many types of glaucoma. The most common form is open angle glaucoma, also called chronic glaucoma.

Open angle glaucoma is caused by high pressure in the eye, which damages the optical nerve and impairs vision. Increased eye pressure does not always mean you will get glaucoma, but it does increase your risk. Another type of glaucoma is low-tension or normal tension glaucoma, which occurs when the optic nerve is damaged despite seemingly normal pressure levels. Treatment is the same as open angle glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma is also common, caused when the iris and lens essentially stick together, preventing fluid flow from the eye.

Glaucoma can also occur as a result of an injury such as being hit in the eye by a baseball. This is called secondary glaucoma.

Facts about Glaucoma

There are two basic types of Glaucoma, open-angle and narrow-angle (or angle-closure) glaucoma.

  • Open-angle is the most common form, accounting for 90% of all cases and is associated with aging.
  • When a person ages, the eye’s drainage apparatus may not work as effectively as it should.
  • In narrow-angle glaucoma, the eye pressure is normal until the drainage angle becomes suddenly blocked. Eye pressure rises abruptly to dangerous levels. Immediate treatment is necessary.
  • Increased eye pressure means you are at risk for glaucoma, but does not mean you have the disease.
  • Glaucoma can develop without increased eye pressure.

Symptoms

  • Glaucoma initially can absolutely symptom less thus most often missed by the patient.
  • At first, open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms. It causes no pain, and vision stays normal.
  • If glaucoma is untreated, vision slowly worsens. Peripheral vision (to the sides) is usually the first to deteriorate thus slowly reducing the field of vision.
  • If glaucoma remains untreated, people may miss objects to the side and out of the corner of their eye.
  • If treatment is not given, vision reduces until no vision remains.
  • Glaucoma can develop in one or both eyes.

Detection

There are many tests that can be done by your doctor or eye care professional to detect glaucoma. Usually intraocular pressure tests and visual field tests are performed in combination to determine the eye’s pressure and the pressure’s affect on the optic nerve. Photographs of the optic nerve may also be taken to determine the health of the optic nerve. These simple tests can ensure that the disease is diagnosed early, so it can be treated before permanent damage is caused.

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