What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and worsens over time. The increased pressure, known as intraocular pressure, damages the optic nerve, whose job is to transmit images to your brain. If the damage continues, it may lead to a permanent loss of vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can lead to total permanent blindness within years.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Most people with Glaucoma experience no early pain or symptoms. The best way to determine if you have Glaucoma is by seeing your eye doctor regularly so that if diagnosed, glaucoma can be treated before long-term visual loss occurs.
What causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a result of an intrinsic deterioration of the optic nerve, leading to high fluid pressure on the front part of the eye. Normally, this fluid flows out of your eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel is blocked, it can cause a liquid buildup.
Other less common causes include:
- a blunt or chemical injury to the eye
- a severe eye infection
- blocked blood vessels inside the eye
- inflammatory conditions
Types of Glaucoma
Open-angle glaucoma – in this most common type of glaucoma, also known as wide-angle glaucoma, the drain structure in the eye looks normal but the fluid doesn’t flow out like it should.
Angle-closure glaucoma – a less common form of glaucoma, also known as acute, chronic angle-closure, or narrow-angle glaucoma is a type where your eye does not drain correctly due to the drain space between your iris and cornea becoming too narrow. This causes a sudden buildup of pressure in your eye and is also linked to farsightedness and cataracts.
Slow Down Development of Glaucoma
Though aging does not directly cause Glaucoma, if you are over the age of 40 and it runs in your family history, you may want to get a complete eye exam every 1-2 years. Furthermore, if you have health problems such as diabetes or are at risk of other eye diseases, you may need to get checked more often.
How to treat Glaucoma
The most common type of surgery for Glaucoma is known as trabeculectomy and consists of removing part of the eye-drainage tubes to allow fluid to drain more easily. This type of surgery may be carried out under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic.
If you have Glaucoma or it runs in your family history, contact us today at 956-686-9777. We can help determine whether you are in need of a glaucoma procedure.