Glaucoma – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

This is a condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and usually gets worse over time. It can result in vision loss and blindness. Though glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later, early detection and treatment however, can often help protect an individual and reduce the risk of serious vision loss.

The disease is often caused by the buildup of pressure inside the eye. The pressure when increased can damage the optic nerve.  The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers which connects the retina to the brain.

Causes

As stated earlier, glaucoma is caused by the buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is prone to occur when the pressure in your eye increases. This happens when eye fluid also known as aqueous humor isn’t circulating normally in the front part of the eye.

Other causes include:

  • Severe eye infections
  • Chemical injury to the eye
  • Blockage of blood vessels in the eye
  • High eye pressure

Symptoms

Open glaucoma doesn’t really come with noticeable symptoms. It often starts with a the loss of peripheral or side vision, when seeing images, it is like the individual is only focusing on the center of the image as the sides become slightly invisible, and this can go unnoticed until later.

glaucoma-vision-loss

The following are a few symptoms of glaucoma:

  • Sudden eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Appearance of halos around lights may occur

Treatment

Doctor Looking Through Eye Exam Machine

Early detection aids in a swifter treatment for glaucoma as it can delay the progression of the disease.

  • Medicines – Eyedrops and other pills are being administered for the early treatment of glaucoma. These either reduce the formation of fluid in the front of the eye or increase its outflow.
  • Laser Surgery – This helps drain the fluid out of the eye. There are various types of laser surgery of which include trabeculoplasty. In trabeculoplasty, a laser is used to pull open the trabecular meshwork drainage, allowing the fluid to flow freely.
  • Conventional surgery – This is also known as trabeculectomy, and it is a surgery which makes room for a new opening for the fluid to leave the eye.

Note that these treatments can only help save the remaining vision when detected at an early stage; although, they do not improve sight that has been lost already from glaucoma. However, it is important that you visit your eye doctor regularly so that the disease can be diagnosed and treated before long term vision occurs. (Especially for people with a family history of the disease)

 

Our eyes are one of our most vital organs and should be treated with care. Glaucoma is one of the major causes of blindness today but early detection and treatment could help delay its progression.

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