Deep Things You Don’t Know About Glaucoma Revealed

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition of the eye that leads to damage to the optic nerve, which is vital for good vision. This damage to the optic nerve is often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye. Glaucoma eye challenge is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Though it can occur at any age it is more common in older adults, and it tends to run in families.

The manifestations of glaucoma have no warning signs, and the effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage. Intraocular pressure of the eye is known as the increased pressure in the eye. The effects of the damage to the optic nerve send images to your brain, and this can get worse over time. And depending on the damage done, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even total blindness within a few years.

The reason why it's important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of your eye pressure is that vision loss due to glaucoma can't be recovered. If the proper diagnosis is done, and glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. And if these health challenges have set in, you'll generally need treatment for the rest of your life.

Glaucoma Causes

There is a fluid inside your eye called aqueous humor, and it usually flows out of your eye through a mesh-like channel. Some condition arises that gets this channel gets blocked or the eye might be producing too much fluid. When this occurs, the liquid builds up, and the eye pressure increases. The causes of this blockage are not fully known, but they can be inherited.

Other causes of glaucoma that are not too common can be a blunt or chemical injury to your eye, blocked blood vessels inside your eye, severe eye infection, and inflammatory conditions.


Types of Glaucoma

There are two main kinds of Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma. This is the most commonly known type of glaucoma. Some health professionals also call it wide-angle glaucoma. This condition arises when the drain structure in your eye (called the trabecular meshwork) looks fine, but the fluid doesn’t flow out as it should.

Angle-closure glaucoma. The statistics of this type of glaucoma are more common in the Asia region. It can also be referred to as acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. This condition occurs when the eye doesn’t drain like it should because the drain space between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow. The result is a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye. It can also be linked to farsightedness and cataracts which is the clouding of the lens inside your eye.

The less common types of glaucoma are:-

Secondary glaucoma. This is the condition when other health challenges like cataracts or diabetes, cause added pressure on your eye.

Normal-tension glaucoma. This condition occurs when your eye pressure is within the normal range, but you still have blind spots in your vision or your optic nerve might be damaged. Some experts refer to it as a form of open-angle glaucoma.

Pigmentary glaucoma. The drainage canals are clogged by tiny bits of pigments from the iris that gets into the fluid inside the eye.

Glaucoma Symptoms

The majority of people with open-angle glaucoma don’t usually have symptoms. And if symptoms do develop at all, they usually manifest late in the disease. This is the reason why glaucoma is often referred to as the "sneak thief of vision." The main sign that occurs very late is usually a loss of side, or peripheral, vision. Some symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma usually manifest faster and are more obvious, and damage can happen quickly.

You need medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms:-

  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Occasional vision loss
  • Constant redness of the eye
  • Hazy-looking eyes (particularly in infants)
  • Occasional eye pain

What Is the Main Cause of Glaucoma?

The physiology of the eye constantly makes aqueous humor, and as this new aqueous fluid flows into your eye, the same amount should be drained out. The fluid from the eye drains out through an area called the drainage angle. This process of exchange of fluid keeps pressure in the eye (called intraocular pressure or IOP) stable. But if anything affects the drainage angle and it’s not working properly, fluid builds up in the eye. This is followed by an increase in eye pressure, and the final analysis is a damaged optic nerve.

The optic nerve is made of more than a million tiny nerve fibers or neurons. This works like an electric cable made up of many small wires. Anything that affects the small tiny nerve endings has a cumulative effect on the optic nerve. And if anything happens to these nerve fibers and they die, you will develop blind spots in your vision. It might not be noticed not until most of your optic nerve fibers have died. People with glaucoma can go blind if all of the nerve fibers are dead.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Glaucoma:-

Glaucoma generally affects adults over 40, but there is a possibility that young adults, children, and even infants can have it. It is more common among African American people, and they tend to get it when they're younger, and with more vision loss.

You stand the chance of having glaucoma if you:

  • Are of African American, Russian, Japanese, Irish, Hispanic, Scandinavian, or Inuit descent.
  • Your age is above 40 years.
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Are challenged with nearsighted or farsighted
  • Have a poor vision.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Are on steroid medications such as prednisone
  • Are taking certain drugs for bladder control or seizures, or if you’re on some over-the-counter cold remedies?
  • Have an injury to your eye or eyes.
  • Have corneas that are thinner than usual.
  • Have heart disease, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, or high blood pressure
  • Have high eye pressure.

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