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Glaucoma - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Glaucoma is a disease caused by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) resulting either from a malformation or malfunction of the eye's drainage structures. Although raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma, there is no set threshold for intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. One person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, while another person may have high eye pressure for years and yet never develop damage. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness. An elevated IOP is the most important risk factor for the development of glaucoma. The most intensively investigated cause of non-pressure-dependent glaucomatous damage is the possibility of an insufficient blood supply to the optic nerve head and adjacent retina Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma is similar to ocular hypertension but with accompanying optic nerve damage and vision loss. The aqueous filters out of the anterior chamber through a complex drainage system. Most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye - a result of blockage of the circulation of aqueous, or its drainage. Through early detection, diagnosis and treatment, you and your doctor can help to preserve your vision. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can steal sight without warning or symptoms. Other variations include congenital glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma and secondary glaucoma.

Causes of Glaucoma

Common causes and risk factor's of Glaucoma include the following :

  • High blood pressure ( hypertension ).
  • Diabetes.
  • Family history of glaucoma.
  • Secondary glaucoma is caused by other diseases, including eye diseases such as uveitis , systemic diseases, and drugs such as corticosteroids.
  • Previous eye injury .
  • Nausea and vomiting may occur.
  • Over the age of 45 and not having regular eye exams.
  • Primary open-angle glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans and Alaska Natives, occurring 6-8 times more often than in whites, often in the earlier stages of life
  • Angle closure (acute) glaucoma is caused by a shift in the position of the iris of the eye that suddenly blocks the exit of the aqueous humor fluid.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Some common Symptoms of Glaucoma:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Glare and light sensitivity.
  • Severe eye pain.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Swollen or clouded cornea.
  • Redness in the eyes.
  • Halos around lights.

Treatment of Glaucoma

  • Blindness will occur in a few days if it is not treated.
  • Laser surgery for glaucoma slightly increases the outflow of the fluid from the eye in open-angle glaucoma or eliminates fluid blockage in angle-closure glaucoma.
  • Epinephrine compounds are eye drops that lower the intraocular pressure by increasing the rate of aqueous humor flow out of the eye.
  • Laser or surgical treatment may be used when medical treatment isn't sufficiently effective.
  • blockers (available as eye drops or pills) help decrease the rate at which the aqueous humor flows into the eye this type of medication includes topical timolol (Timoptic), levobunolol (Betagan), betaxolol (Betaoptic-S), Iopidine and Ocupress.
  • These are the most common form of treatment and must be used regularly. In some cases pills are prescribed. The drops can be varied to best suit the patient and the type of glaucoma.






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Disclaimer : All information on is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, please consult your doctor.