Glaucoma is a condition where pressure created by the fluid in the eye builds up to an abnormally high level and damages the optic nerves.
Apart from acute-closure glaucoma that produces symptoms such as redness,headache, nausea, vomiting and severe vision loss, most types of glaucoma do not produce any symptoms until severe visual field loss occur. If left untreated, the condition often leads to blindness.
There are many different types of glaucoma. The common types include:
As the most common types of glaucoma, this condition is believed to be due to accumulation of debris such as death cells that is slowly clogging the wide and open drainage angle. The fluid that cannot be properly drained out of the eye in turns lead to increase in intraocular pressure that slowly damages the optic nerve.
This condition occurs when the originally narrow drainage angle becomes completely blocked, leading to sudden increase in intraocular pressure. It mostly occurs when the iris (the colored part of the eye) bunches up following dilatation of pupil. The attacks usually occurs when patients are in dim environment.
This type of glaucoma is used to describe the damage of optic nerves in the eye despite the ‘normal’ intraocular pressure. Studies are still ongoing to recognize the causative factors of this condition.
This is an inherited form of glaucoma that occurs in babies or young children with incomplete development of the eye’s drainage system during the prenatal period. This defective drainage canal leads to increase in intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve fibers. Signs of these conditions include excessive tearing, light sensitivity and hazy or usually large eyes.
Who are at risk?
Common risk factors of glaucoma include age, family history, race, high short-sightedness, history of ocular injury, long-term use of corticosteroid and systemic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension.
How is it treated?
The main objective of treatment for glaucoma is to reduce the intraocular pressure and prevent or slow down further vision loss. The treatment option includes long-term use of antiglaucoma medications, laser procedure or major surgery called trabeculectomy.