What Is Glaucoma?
It is important to understand the causes of glaucoma. Also, its treatments, diagnosis, symptoms, types and risk factors form very valuable knowledge.
This condition is an abnormality in health. It causes damage to the optic nerves of the eyes. Eventually, it becomes worse after a long time of being untreated.
Oftentimes, it is associated with an increase in the pressure within the eyes. Again, it has been observed that the disease runs in families. Most times, it may not manifest until much later in life.
When the pressure within your eye increases tremendously it could cause damage to the optic nerves. The optic nerves send images, messages and impulses to the brain.
If the damage is left to get worse over the years it could lead to permanent loss of vision. Also, it could lead to total blindness.
Most times, people with the condition do not experience the symptoms of glaucoma early enough. Also, they may not experience the pains early. As a result, you are advised to always visit the doctor regularly over this.
This would help them in running the proper diagnosis for this condition regularly. Also, this would help in discovering the causes of the condition. Hence, it would make them implement the treatments for the condition as appropriate. In the long run, this would help to prevent permanent loss of vision.
Losing one’s vision may be impossible to reverse. However, one of the preventive measures is to keep the pressure of the eyes low enough. If you are diagnosed with the condition it is important to keep to your regular treatment plan. Also, you should maintain a regular eye examination schedule. This would be helpful in order to retain your vision.
The aqueous humour is the fluid inside the eyes. Normally, this fluid would flow out through a channel that is woven like a mesh. The liquid will begin to build up once this channel becomes blocked.
This can be one of the causes of the condition. Actually, the real cause of this blockage is not yet very clear to experts. However, this condition can be hereditary. That is to say it can be passed from parents to offspring. So, when this condition is passed to children from parents it can be one of the causes of glaucoma.
Furthermore, there are some causes of glaucoma that are not very common. Such conditions can include:
- Very serious eye infection
- Presence of blood vessels that are blocked inside the eyes
- Injuries to the eyes due to chemicals
- Inflammatory conditions
In rare occasions, eye surgery can be one of the causes of glaucoma. This surgery could have been meant to correct another eye defect. Usually, this could affect the two eyes. However, it could be more pronounced in one.
There are two main types of glaucoma:
Angle-closure Glaucoma: this can also be called chronic or acute angle-closure glaucoma. Again, it can be called narrow-angle glaucoma. This is one of the types of glaucoma and has been more observed among Asians. In this type, the cornea and iris have very little space between them. This drain space becomes very narrow.
Consequently, it becomes very difficult for the eye to drain properly. This condition can cause pressure to build up in the eyes suddenly. Unfortunately, that is one of the causes of glaucoma. Also, this can cause long sightedness. Again, it could result in cataracts. Cataracts refers to the clouding of the eye lens.
Open-angle Glaucoma: this is the most common among the types of glaucoma. Also, it could be referred to as wide-angle glaucoma. The trabecular meshwork which is responsible for draining in the eyes appears to be in good shape. However, fluid is unable to pass out as it is supposed to.
Furthermore, there are some types of glaucoma that are less common. They include:
Pigmentary Glaucoma: in this type of the condition pigments originate from the iris. Eventually, these little pieces of pigments get into the fluid. As a result, the drainage canals become clogged up. Also, this is one of the types of glaucoma.
Secondary Glaucoma: this results when a different condition causes extra pressure in the eyes. The condition could be diabetes or cataracts.
Normal-tension Glaucoma: this is a situation that is experienced when blind spots can be noticed in your vision. Also, the optic nerves could be damaged.
However, the pressure of the eyes could still be within the average or normal range. Some experts argue that this is still a different kind of the open-angle form of the condition.
Symptoms Of Glaucoma
Most times, people with open-angle form of the condition do not notice any symptoms of glaucoma. Usually, the symptoms may begin to manifest late into disease. Majorly, the early symptoms of glaucoma may include the loss of peripheral or side vision.
Most times, the symptoms of the condition that come early are those of the angle-closure form of the condition. This one can be noticed much faster. Also, they could be more obvious to see.
Unfortunately, damage from this form could come on very quickly. If you notice any of the following symptoms of glaucoma you should visit your doctor immediately. These include:
- Redness in the eyes
- Loss of vision
- Vision of halos around sources lights
- Hazy-looking eyes especially in infants
- Pain in the eyes is also one of the symptoms of glaucoma
- Vomiting and stomach upset
Risk Factors Of Glaucoma
In most cases, the condition affects adults who have passed the age of 40. However, younger adults and children can also be affected. Again, even infants could be affected.
Most often the condition has been observed in younger African Americans. Unfortunately, it would lead to loss of vision. This could be one of the risk factors of the condition.
Some of the risk factors of glaucoma include:
- One’s descent could be one of the risk factors of the condition (this includes Hispanic, Inuit, Japanese, Scandinavian, Russian, Irish and African American)
- Having diabetes is one of the risk factors of glaucoma
- Having a poor vision
- Being above 40 years could be one of the risk factors of glaucoma
- Taking prednisone or other steroid medicines could be one of the risk factors of glaucoma
- Having cornea that is extraordinarily thin
- Having high pressure that is her is one of the risk factors
- Having a family member with the condition
- Being short-sighted or long-sighted
- Having high blood pressure
- Having heart disease or sickle cell anaemia