What is glaucoma and what causes it? Glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders that lead to vision loss and eventually blindness by damaging the optic nerve in the back of the eye, also known as the ocular nerve.
The typical symptoms can begin slowly so that you might not even realize that you have it. However, the only way to know for sure if you have glaucoma is to have a thorough eye examination. Glaucoma results when the nerve is damaged. The result is damage to the optic nerve and/or the capillaries surrounding the eyes. If this already sounds confusing, you can click here for more expert opinion and recommendations.
In a majority of cases, this damage is caused by pressure buildup behind the eye. Commonly called “choroidal” disease, glaucoma is typically caused by two types of agents: foreign body proteins and fluid. It is important to note that glaucomas are not the same as venous insufficiency, which is an abnormal accumulation of fluid behind the eye.
The most common type of glaucoma occurs in men and women. The risk factors for developing glaucoma include age; having a family history of eye diseases such as cataracts or diabetes; having hypertension; having a history of vision loss, and living in a household with high levels of alcohol consumption.
Other factors that increase the likelihood of developing glaucoma include: having a family member who had glaucoma; having dry eye syndrome; having a sedentary lifestyle; having a poor diet; and having a history of corneal surgery.
Glaucoma treatment options include eye drops, laser surgery, eye transplants, and surgery to remove the infected pressure vessel. When glaucoma causes optic nerve damage, vision loss will occur.
Possible causes include: being born with the genetic condition of uncontrolled iris hypertrophy, which causes the iris to enlarge beyond normal limits; being obese; receiving cataract surgery; having diabetes; and living in a household where there is a high level of stress.
The optimal treatment method for glaucoma depends on the underlying cause of the disease. Common treatment methods include eye injections and prescription medication. If vision loss has occurred, the physician may order an optical eye exam, called a refractive examination.
During this exam, the eye doctor will examine the front, back, and sides of the eye. He will also take a quick look under the cap of the eyes to determine any signs of fluid build-up. Once completed, your ophthalmologist will make a diagnosis and give you treatment recommendations.
If prescription drugs do not work, or if iris surgery does not correct your vision problem, your physician may recommend laser treatment as the final solution. Laser treatment for glaucoma works by reshaping the affected areas of the eye and improving the drainage system.
After surgery, your ophthalmologist may place a laser endoscope right into the iris to start the laser treatment. The laser will then work to remove scar tissue, allowing it to work better and faster than before. Another serious eye disease that can result in loss of vision is open-angle glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the iris moves out of position, creating a blind spot in the visual field. This type of glaucoma typically happens to middle-aged people, because as people age, their eye tends to move out of position more often.
As a result, open-angle glaucoma damages the optic nerve and can be very painful. Laser surgery may be the best option for this type of glaucoma to treat and cure. It is important to talk to a qualified physician about your glaucomiasis symptoms so that they can properly diagnose and treat you for your specific type of glaucoma.
Proper diagnosis of glaucoma symptoms is critical to the success of treatment. Glaucoma treatment options are very similar between individuals, and patients should take their doctor’s advice regarding which treatment options are right for them.
If symptoms continue after a proper diagnosis has been made, you should immediately contact your medical health care provider.