What is the Condition?
Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness, is an eye disease where the optic nerve is progressively damaged. This damage can lead to permanent peripheral vision loss. Glaucoma is typically associated with high eye pressure, but glaucoma can also occur in eyes with low or normal eye pressure.
What are the Symptoms of this Condition?
Open-angle glaucoma: blind spots in your peripheral vision and tunnel vision in the advanced stages.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma: Severe headache, nausea and vomiting, eye pain and redness, and blurry vision.
What are the risk factors for developing this condition?
- Aged 40 and above
- Family history of glaucoma
- African or Hispanic heritage
- High eye pressure
- Having a history of an eye injury
- Having thin corneas
- Diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation or other health issues that affect the whole body
How is this condition treated?
Medications: Generally, treatment starts with daily use eye drops. Most of these medications work by lowering eye pressure and therefore preventing damage to the optic nerve.
Laser Iridotomy: This method focuses a beam of light to create a hole on the outer edge of the iris. This opening allows fluid to flow faster than it normally would and therefore lowers the intraocular eye pressure.
Laser Trabeculoplasty: In this method, the ophthalmologist will use a laser to make holes in the mesh-like drain in the eye so the fluid drains out more easily.
Conventional surgery: This step is usually taken if both medicines and laser surgery have failed to decrease eye pressure. In this form of treatment, the ophthalmologist will create a bypass drain channel for the eyes affected by glaucoma.