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Glaucoma is one of the most common eye disorders that have the ability to damage the optic nerve thus causing blindness. The optic nerve is usually damaged because of the increasing pressure in the eyes. However, this eye disorder comes in the category of chronic as well as progressive eye diseases. This condition arises whenever there is an abnormality in the eye’s drainage system thus causing excess fluid to build up in the eyes. It causes damage to the optic nerve.
Main Symptoms of Glaucoma Disease
Glaucoma comes in the list of common eye disorders that can cause severe and prolonged harm to the optic nerve. Most people experience no symptoms of this disease, that is why it is important to get your eyes carefully examined if you are facing any difficulty while seeing or you are experiencing loss of vision. Some of its major symptoms include the following.
- Severe pain in your head or in the area around your head.
- Slight pain occurring in the eyes.
- Feeling of nausea or anxiousness.
- Difficulty in seeing clearly or blurred vision.
- Seeing colored rings around the eyes when surrounded by lights.
- Redness in the eyes.
- Signs of distorted vision or loss of vision.
- Hazy vision accompanied by some other symptoms.
Risk Factors of Glaucoma
There are no fixed criteria or age group of people when it comes to having the signs and symptoms of this glaucoma eye disorder. However, some people are more prone to having this eye disorder due to the following risk factors.
- High intraocular pressure inside your eyes.
- Aging people can cause this problem.
- Family history of this disease.
- Genetic problem.
- Having thin corneas at the center of your eyes.
- People having diabetes, migraine, and high BP have a risk of glaucoma.
- History of some other eye disorder or disease.
- People suffering from anemia or loss of healthy red blood cells.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Several factors cause glaucoma and some of them are mentioned and explained below. This eye condition usually happens when there is an enhancement in the eye pressure in your eyes. There is a fluid named aqueous humor present in your eyes. Whenever eye pressure increases, this fluid cannot drain out from your eyes properly. This situation gives rise to this eye disorder, named glaucoma. However, some other reasons also cause glaucoma and those are:
- Growing age can cause glaucoma in most people.
- Most people who are suffering from hypertension and diabetes have a major risk of this eye disease.
- People having myopia or hyper myopia can have a strong possibility of arising this eye condition.
- Some people have a family or genetic history of this disease. So, they pass on their genes to their children which in turn let them to suffer from the same disease or disorder.
- When the pressure inside your eyes increases, then there are larger chances that the fluids are unable to get out of your eyes freely. So, it causes problems in your vision.
- People having thinner corneas have a larger risk of getting this eye disease.
- Higher stress levels can cause glaucoma as when the body is stressed, then it cannot repair the cells fastly.
Glaucoma- Different Types
There are a total of ten types of glaucoma out of which open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma are known as the main forms of this disease. Its types are defined and explained as follows.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this disease. It is also known as primary open-angle glaucoma. According to research, this eye disorder is found in almost three million American population. In this type of eye condition, your intraocular pressure increases inside your eyes which in turn causes clogging of the eye drainage system. The reason behind the rise in eye pressure is the building up of the aqueous humor inside your eyes. It finally causes severe damage to the optic nerve, thereby causing vision loss.
This type of glaucoma eye condition is rarely found in people as it is less common than open-angle glaucoma. In this eye condition, the drainage system present inside the eyes is either completely blocked or it is partially blocked. This eye condition is similar to a covered drain. In this eye disorder, the iris contracts and is found not wide as it should be in its normal pattern. It affects your overall angle for the eye drainage system while increasing the eye pressure and blocking the eye fluid to move out of the eyes. However, when the angle is completely blocked, then it is called as acute angle-closure glaucoma.
Normal-tension glaucoma is one of the common forms of primary open-angle glaucoma in which we can’t measure intraocular pressure. The primary risk factors of this type of glaucoma include blood flow abnormalities and disruption in the structure of optic nerve tissue. Diabetic patients, people having vascular diseases, and patients with a history of stroke are more prone to this normal-tension glaucoma.
Secondary glaucoma comes under one of the most common eye disorders in which the cause or risk factor of the increased eye pressure is noticeable. This type of glaucoma can occur in both of your eyes or even a single eye. The main or primary causes of secondary glaucoma include infection in the eyes, inflammation, previous history of cataract disease, diabetic patients, and excessive use of steroids. However, this eye disease can be cured by the intake of certain medications, eye treatments, laser treatment, and conventional surgery.
Exfoliative glaucoma is one of the most common types of secondary open-angle glaucomas. It is also known as pseudoexfoliative glaucoma. This type of glaucoma occurs whenever flaky or cracking substance peels off the outer layer of the eye lens. In this eye condition, this flaky material is collected at the angle between the cornea and the iris. It finally clogs the eye’s drainage system, which in turn increases the eye pressure.
Neovascular glaucoma is one of the chronic forms of secondary glaucoma that can be caused by several factors. Those factors include diabetic retinopathy, central retinal vein occlusion, branch retinal vein occlusion, severe inflammation, and radiation retinopathy. However, diabetes is considered as the most common cause of this neovascular glaucoma.
Pigmentary glaucoma comes under the category of secondary open-angle glaucoma. In this eye condition, the pigment granules that are present in the back of the iris break in the clear fluid produced inside the eye. This causes clogging of the drainage canals which increases eye pressure. It creates a loss of vision among the people.
Traumatic glaucoma is one of the common forms of secondary glaucoma. It happens because of any injury or immediately after an injury. It might even occur after some years gap after the injury has occurred. The major causes of this type of glaucoma are blunt eye injuries, severe eye injuries, and eye-penetrating injuries.
In this type of glaucoma, the middle layer of the eye gets damaged and the uveitis starts swelling. This eye disorder occurs in eye patients who are suffering from the disease named, Uveitis. However, the main causes of this disease are obstruction of the trabecular meshwork, trabeculations, pupillary block, and peripheral anterior synechiae.
Congenital glaucoma is a rare eye condition that occurs due to genetic reasons or is being inherited by the parents. In this eye condition, there is an incorrect or false development of the eye drainage canals when the baby is developing in the fetus. However, if it is treated earlier before getting late, then this eye disorder can be prevented.
How Glaucoma Can Be Treated?
This eye disorder is caused by the increased intraocular pressure present inside the eyes. So, it can be treated by following different methods that are able to reduce this pressure or can minimize it. However, some methods through which we can minimize the risk of getting this disease are written as follows.
- Glaucoma can be treated by measuring intraocular pressure. This technique is known as tonometry.
- One should undergo a dilated eye examination and imaging tests for examining how much damage is being done to your optic nerve.
- One more method for treating glaucoma is to undergo a visual field test.
- Inspection of the drainage angle is one of the best methods for diagnosing glaucoma.
- Some other treatment options for this eye disorder include laser treatments, eye drops prescription, intake of oral medicines, undergoing effective eye surgeries, or ophthalmologist’s prescribed drugs.
- The eyedrop medicines for glaucoma consist of prostaglandins, beta blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, and cholinergic agents.
It is important to undergo regular eye exams or diagnoses that can help your eye doctor to analyze any issues or difficulties that can cause vision loss earlier. There are several eye exams that can help in identifying eye disorders acutely. It is better to consult your eye doctor or ophthalmologist whenever you face any problem in seeing or whenever you face vision loss. However taking proper dietary foods, fiber, green vegetables, and seasonal fruits can surely aid in keeping your eye health good.