It is basically an eye-related medical problem that is defined by an increase in the fluid pressure within the eye. This pressure is technically known as intraocular pressure. This increase in pressure tends to cause vision loss and sometimes blindness.
According to various studies, it has been found that glaucoma is one of the primary reasons behind irreversible blindness in the world. Glaucoma generally produces no symptoms in its early stage, at which time it can only be diagnosed by general eye examinations.
Intraocular pressure tends to surge due to the accumulation of excessive amounts of fluid in the eye or the drainage or outward channels.
There are several types of glaucoma.
Primary open-angle glaucoma
This is the most general type of glaucoma. It emerges slowly, where the eye does not trench fluid as well as it must. Due to which, eye pressure increases and begins to disturb the optic nerve. This kind of glaucoma is generally painless and makes no vision changes at first.
Some individuals can have optic nerves that are delicate to general eye pressure. It simply means that their chance of getting glaucoma is more than normal. Daily eye exams are necessary to detect early signs of injury to their optic nerve.
Angle-closure glaucoma (also known as “closed-angle glaucoma” or “narrow-angle glaucoma”)
This glaucoma occurs when a person’s iris is extremely near to the drainage angle in their eye. The iris can cause blockage of the drainage angle. One can think of it as a piece of paper descending over a sink drain. When the drainage angle becomes totally blocked, eye pressure increases very rapidly. This is known an acute attack. In such type of case, it is recommended to consult your ophthalmologist as soon as possible or you might go blind.
Most of the people with angle-closure glaucoma face it slowly. This is known as chronic angle-closure glaucoma. There are no symptoms in the initial stage, thus they don’t know they suffer from it until the damage is extreme or they face an attack.
Children born with congenital glaucoma carry a defect in their eye angle, which degrades or prevents usual drainage of fluid. Congenital glaucoma generally presents with symptoms, such as cloudy eyes, excessive tearing, or sensitivity to light. Congenital glaucoma can affect families.
Secondary glaucoma is typically a side effect of damage or another eye problem, such as cataracts or eye tumors. Medicines, such as corticosteroids, may also source this kind of glaucoma. Uncommonly, eye surgery can lead to secondary glaucoma.
Normal Tension Glaucoma
In infrequent cases, individuals without raised eye pressure face damage to their optic nerve. The cause of this is not known yet. However, high sensitivity or a reduced blood flow to your optic nerve may be an aspect of this kind of glaucoma.
In case of open-angle glaucoma, there comes no warning signs or clear symptoms in the initial stages. As the disease grows, blind spots emerge out in the peripheral (side) vision.
On the other hand, people with angle-closure glaucoma generally show no symptoms before an attack. Some initial symptoms of an attack may include blurred vision, halos, mild headaches or eye pain. Individuals with these symptoms must be checked by an expert ophthalmologist as soon as possible. An attack of angle-closure glaucoma embraces the following:
Heavy pain in the eye or forehead
Redness of the eye
Reduced vision or blurred vision
Seeing rainbows or halos
Glaucoma is sometimes known as "the sneak thief of sight." This is due to the fact that the intraocular pressure can increase and damage sight without sourcing obvious symptoms. Therefore, awareness and quick detection of glaucoma is very important because this disease can generally be successfully treated when diagnosed within time. While every individual is at risk for glaucoma, specific people are at a much higher risk and need to be screened more often by eye experts. The main risk factors for glaucoma include the following:
Age over 45 years
Family record of glaucoma
Black racial ancestry
Past of increased intraocular pressure
Reduction in corneal thickness and rigidity
Nearsightedness (severe degree of myopia
History of eye injury
Use of cortisone (steroids), either in the eye or systemically (orally or injected)
Our eyes continually prepare aqueous humor. When new aqueous develops into the eye, the same amount goes out. The fluid drains out via a region called the drainage angle. This process maintains pressure in the eye (known as intraocular pressure or IOP) proper. However, if the drainage angle is not performing appropriately, fluid accumulates. The pressure inside the eye upsurges, destructing the optic nerve.
Though there is no clarity why pressure within the eye increases, doctors think that there are one or more factors contributing to this. They include:
Expanding eye drops
Blocked or limited drainage in your eye
Medications, such as corticosteroids
Bad or decreased blood flow to your optic nerve
High or raised blood pressure
The primary objective of glaucoma treatment is to decrease IOP to prevent any extra eyesight loss. Generally, the doctor will start treatment with prescription eye drops. If these don’t work or more next-level treatment is required, the doctor may suggest one of the following treatments:
Several medicines are available that are meant to reduce IOP are available. These medicines come in the form of eye drops or pills, but the drops are more prevalent. The doctor may prescribe one or a mix of these.
If a restricted or slow channel is sourcing amplified IOP, your doctor may recommend surgery to create a drainage path for fluid or eradicate tissues that are building the pressure from the increased fluid.
This kind of glaucoma is a medical emergency and need quick treatment to decrease eye pressure as rapidly as possible. Medicines are generally tried first, to converse the angle closure, but this may be ineffective. A laser procedure known as laser peripheral iridotomy may also be carried out. This procedure builds small holes in your iris to make space for enlarged fluid movement.