Glaucoma is an eye disease which usually appears due to increased intraocular pressure which can damage the optic nerve and, if left untreated, can lead to loss of a certain part of visual field, or in the worst-case scenario, blindness. The for glaucoma increases with age and can be especially dangerous as the disease initially develops slowly and it hard to detect. In order to prevent any potential problems with your eyesight, including glaucoma, it is recommended that, from the age of forty, you make regular check-ups for early detection.
Types of Glaucoma
Primary open angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease It can take a long time to see and feel any of the symptoms, however, if it is diagnosed in time, can be easily treated with eye drops. Other forms of glaucoma include acute glaucoma (this type requires immediate medical assistance and treatment as it can result in blindness quite quickly) and secondary glaucoma (appears as a result of other diseases of the eye).
Causes and symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a conventional term used for a variety of diseases of the eye, all them usually containing three basic characteristics. These are elevated intraocular pressure, reduced field of vision and recess papilla with a loss of mass of the optical nerve. In most cases, increased eye pressure plays a major role in the onset of glaucoma. Disruption in the chamber of fluid of the anterior chamber of the eye results in an imbalance in creating aqueous humor (this is watery fluid we need to keep eyes lubricated). As fluid builds up in the eye, the pressure increases and damages the sensitive optical nerve. The damaged nerve tissue can no longer send all the necessary information to the brain, and as a consequence, the visual field is narrowed. The damaged visual field is usually the first symptom of glaucoma.
Some patients who suffer from glaucoma have normal eye pressure, in which case there can be an underlying issue with circulation in the retina and the optic chiasm. This can lead to a vascular condition, along with too high or too low blood pressure. As this disease can remain without symptoms for quite a long time, it is important to take genetic and other risks into account. The risk factors include – age over 65 years, frequent occurrence of glaucoma in the family, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, severe and persistent eye inflammation and the use of treatment with cortisone. Acute glaucoma is characterized by hard, red eye that does not react to light, and it is associated with pain and blurred vision. This may be accompanied by a headache, nausea, and vomiting.
Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment
As we have stated earlier, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly, as glaucoma can affect persons of all age (though the incidence increases with age), with women being affected more often than men. Once diagnosed, this condition can be treated with eye drops, medication, traditional surgery or laser surgery. A combination of these methods is often used. The condition can be managed in order to prevent any permanent damage and loss of vision.