Glaucoma is the blanket term applied to a group of conditions that result in damage to the optic nerve. This type of nerve damage gradually weakens the ability to see, in some cases resulting in total vision loss: blindness.
What causes glaucoma?
Glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the part of the nervous system that connects the eyes to the rest of the brain, allowing the transmission of visual signals. When there is excess pressure applied to the optic nerve, it leads to glaucoma.
Types of glaucoma?
Different types of glaucoma include:
- Primary open-angle glaucoma, in which fluid builds up and drains out of the eye too slowly, leading to increased pressure within the eye. This type of glaucoma occurs gradually over time and typically shows no symptoms in the early stages.
- Angle-closure glaucoma, during which eye fluid pressure increases rapidly due to a blockage. This type of glaucoma typically involves the sudden onset of pain.
- Low-tension glaucoma, in which the optic nerve has become directly damaged, unrelated to fluid flow. This can occur for many different reasons.
- Congenital glaucoma, also known as childhood glaucoma. This refers glaucoma that is present at birth.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Symptoms of gradual glaucoma include:
- Loss of peripheral vision over time
- Tunnel vision
- Partial blindness
Symptoms of sudden glaucoma include:
- Blurred Vision
- Eye Pain
Possible treatments for glaucoma include:
- Medicated Eyedrops
- Oral medications to reduce fluid buildup
- Laser Surgery
- Filtering Surgery
- Fluid Drainage Implants
It is important to have routine eye exams with an ophthalmologist to screen for any signs of glaucoma.