Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Overview

A class of eye diseases known as glaucoma damages the optic nerve. For healthy vision, the optic nerve—which transmits visual information from your eye to your brain—is essential. Elevated intraocular pressure is frequently associated with optic nerve damage. However, normal eye pressure does not always lead to glaucoma.

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Any age can get glaucoma, although older folks are more likely to have it. For those over 60, it is one of the main causes of blindness.

Many types of glaucoma show no symptoms at all. You might not detect a change in eyesight until the disease is advanced since the effect is so gradual.

It is important to get routine eye exams that involve measuring your intraocular pressure. Early detection can decrease or stop visual loss caused by glaucoma. You will require treatment or ongoing monitoring for the remainder of your life if you have glaucoma.

When to visit a physician

Should your symptoms appear out of the blue, you can have acute angle-closure glaucoma. Severe eye discomfort and headaches are among the symptoms. You must receive therapy right now. Visit an emergency room or give an ophthalmologist’s office a call right away.

Reasons

Damage to the optic nerve results in the development of glaucoma. The slow degeneration of this nerve causes blind patches to appear in your eyesight. This nerve injury is typically associated with elevated intraocular pressure for unclear causes.

A accumulation of fluid that circulates across the interior of the eye causes elevated ocular pressure. The aqueous humor is another name for this fluid. Usually, it drains through a tissue that is situated near the iris-cornea junction. The trabecular meshwork is another name for this tissue. Because it allows light to enter the eye, the cornea is crucial to vision. Eye pressure might rise when the drainage system isn’t functioning correctly or the eye produces too much fluid.

Occlusion glaucoma

This kind of glaucoma is the most prevalent. The iris and cornea continue to create an open drainage angle. However, the drainage system’s other components don’t drain correctly. This might cause the ocular pressure to rise gradually and slowly.

Glaucoma with angle closure

The iris enlarges and causes this type of glaucoma. The drainage angle is partly or totally blocked by the protruding iris. Pressure rises as a result of the eye’s inability to circulate fluid. Angle-closure glaucoma can develop gradually or unexpectedly.

Glaucoma with normal tension

The precise cause of optic nerve injury with normal eye pressure is unknown. There might be a decrease in blood flow or sensitivity in the optic nerve. Circulation-damaging diseases or the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries might be the cause of this restricted blood flow. Atherosclerosis is another name for the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries.

Glaucoma in juveniles

Glaucoma may develop in a child’s early years of life or may be present at birth. Optic nerve damage may result from an accident, an underlying medical condition, or blocked drainage.

Diffuse glaucoma

Small pigment granules that break off from the iris and impede or restrict the flow of fluid out of the eye are the cause of pigmentary glaucoma. Running is one activity that might occasionally cause the pigment granules to agitate. This results in the pigment granules depositing on the tissue at the angle where the cornea and iris meet. The pressure rises as a result of the granule deposition.

It seems that glaucoma runs in families. Scientists have discovered genes linked to optic nerve injury and increased eye pressure in certain individuals.

Risk elements

Vision loss can occur from glaucoma even before symptoms appear. Keep in mind the following risk factors:

elevated intraocular pressure, sometimes referred to as internal eye pressure

older than 55

Hispanic, Asian, or Black ancestry

A family background of glaucoma

A few illnesses, including sickle cell anemia, diabetes, migraines, and high blood pressure

corneas with a narrow central layer

excessive near- or farsightedness

ocular damage or specific procedures involving the eyes

using corticosteroid medications for an extended period of time, particularly eye drops