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Everything You Need to Know About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a type of eye disease which is known to damage the optic nerve of the patient significantly. This particular nerve is extremely essential when it comes to sending crucial visual information from the eyes to the brain.

When abnormally high pressure is created in the eye, it could sometimes lead to this condition. As and when the pressure keeps building with time, the optic nerve tissue erodes which results in vision loss or blindness. If this condition is detected in its early stages, additional vision loss can be prevented.

There is only one symptom associated with glaucoma, particularly open-angle glaucoma. Other than gradual vision loss, nothing is very concrete and unique to this condition. This is the reasons it is best to take eye examinations frequently. If there are also problems with the retina, eye doctor can be of great help. In most cases, an eye specialist or ophthalmologist is referred to do these comprehensive examinations.

Another type called narrow-angle glaucoma or acute-angle closure glaucoma will require a medical emergency. Some of the symptoms expected in this condition include:

  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Seeing coloured rings near lights
  • Eye redness
  • Sudden vision disturbances
  • Nausea
  • Severe eye pain
  • Vomiting

Causes

The eye’s back is responsible for making aqueous humour, a clear fluid. The front of the eye fills up with this fluid once it is made. Later, it leaves through the iris and cornea. If these channels are partially obstructed or blocked, the intraocular pressure (IOP) or nature eye pressure may significantly increase. This eventually causes damage to the optic nerve. With increased damage, the eyesight may be lost.

It is not clear what exactly causes this pressure. Doctors suggest that these reasons may be responsible.

  • Elevated or high blood pressure
  • Reduced or poor blood flow to the optic nerve
  • Medications, like corticosteroids
  • Restricted or blocked eye drainage
  • Dilating eye drops

Risk Factors

The World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Ethnicity: People with an African descent have a higher chance of developing this condition as compared to Caucasians. They are likely to develop angle-closure glaucoma.
  • Age: People, who are more than the age of 60 years, can develop this condition. In case of people with an African descent; the age is reduced to 40 years.
  • Family History: Certain types of glaucoma could run in the families. People having a grandparent or parent with open-angle glaucoma have a higher chance of developing it. Visit a Melbourne eye clinic for an eye examination if you suspect of having a family history.
  • Eye Problems: Thin corneas and chronic eye inflammation can increase the pressure on the eyes. Sometimes trauma or physical injury could also increase the pressure.
  • Medical History: People having high blood pressure or diabetes could have a higher chance of developing this condition.

There is no way to prevent this condition, but it is important that you catch this condition in its early stages to start the treatment.

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Written by Keith Wilson

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