What is Glaucoma and how it can be treated?

Before discuss this topic first of all discuss what Glaucoma is?

Glaucoma – It is that type of eye disease which damages the optic nerve.  The optic nerve is responsible for good vision. This problem is linked with the increase in pressure in our eyes. The work of an optic nerve is to supply visual information to the brain from the eyes.

This increased pressure in the eyes known as intraocular pressure which is harmful for optic nerve, and transmits images to the brain.  Glaucoma is responsible for permanent vision loss if the damage continues. This eye disease also causes totally blindness in some years without treatment.

Glaucoma is very common disease especially in old age person. Most of the people which are suffered with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain.

Causes Glaucoma is caused by intrinsic weakening of the optic nerve. The weakening of optic nerve causes due to high fluid pressure on the front part of the eye. Generally this fluid is called aqueous humor which flows out of the eye through a mesh-like channel. This fluid leaves the eyes via channel in the cornea iris. If these channels are partially obstructed or blocked the natural pressure in the eye which is called the intraocular pressure (IOP) may increase. As IOP increases, the optic nerve may become damaged. If a nerve is damage then begin losing sight in the eyes.

The causes of increase fluid pressure on the eyes are not known by the person. As per doctor, the causes due to increase fluid pressure on the eyes are given below -

  • Blocked or restricted drainage in the eye.
  • High or elevated blood pressure
  • Dilating  eye drops
  • Reduced flow of blood  to the optic nerve
  • Medications, such as corticosteroids

Types of Glaucoma – There are several types of glaucoma which are discussed below –

   1. Open-Angle (Chronic) Glaucoma – It is the most common type of glaucoma. This type of glaucoma has no symptoms except gradual vision loss. This loss of vision may be slow in which the vision of the person can suffer permanent damage before any other symptoms become apparent as per National Eye Institute (NEI).

  2. Angle-Closure (Acute) Glaucoma – In this type of acute glaucoma, if the flow of aqueous humor fluid is suddenly blocked then the rapid increase of fluid may cause a serious and painful increase in pressure. The symptoms of this type of glaucoma are blurred vision, severe pain and nausea. If you feel these symptoms then immediately consult with doctor for this problem.

  3. Normal Tension Glaucoma – In type of glaucoma, without increase eye pressure it damage the optic nerve of a person. The cause of this type of glaucoma is not known. Thus extreme sensitivity or lack of flow of blood to the optic nerve may be a problem at this type of glaucoma.

  4. Congenital Glaucoma – When children born with a congenital glaucoma have a defect in the angle of their eye that slows or prevent normal fluid drainage. There are several symptoms of this type of glaucoma are excessive tearing, or sensitivity to light, and cloudy eyes. This type of disease can run or pass over in families.

  5. Secondary Glaucoma – This type of glaucoma has a side-effect of injury or another eye condition such as eye tumors or cataract. There are some medicines such as corticosteroids which may also cause in this type of glaucomaSometimes or rarely, eye surgery can cause this type of glaucoma.

Symptoms of glaucoma – The first indication of glaucoma is loss of peripheral or side vision. It is also called as sneak thief of vision.  In this type of eye disease, pressure in the eyes can increase to dangerous levels and causes blurred vision, headache, eye pain, or the appearance halos around lights.

There are several glaucoma symptoms are given below –

  1. Redness in the eye
  2. Vision loss
  3. Nausea
  4. Vomiting
  5. Narrowed vision (tunnel vision)
  6. Eye pain
  7. Seeing halos around lights
  8. Eye that looks hazy (particularly in infants)

Treatment of glaucoma – There are some methods for the glaucoma treatments are discussed below –

  1. Eye drops – This method decrease the formation of fluid in the eyes by reducing the eye pressure. The side-effects of eye drops are blurred vision, allergies, redness, irritated eyes, and stinging. There are some glaucoma medicines which may affect the heart and lungs. If you feel this type of symptoms immediately consult with doctor.
  2. Exercise safely – Daily moderate exercise can be used to prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure.
  3. Laser surgery – This method can slightly increase the fluid flow from the eye for a person who suffered with open-angle glaucoma. It can prevent fluid blockage if a person suffered with angle-closure glaucoma. There are some procedures which are given below –
  • Iridotomy – In this procedure, makes a tiny hole in the iris to let fluid flow more freely
  • Trabeculoplasty -  Opens the drainage area
  • Cyclophotocoagulation - Treats areas of the middle layer of your eye to reduce production of fluid.
  1. Microsurgery – This procedure is called a trabeculectomy in which the doctor makes a new channel to drain the fluid and ease eye pressure. This type of glaucoma surgery fails and has to be re-operated. The doctor may implant a tube to help drain fluid. This type of surgery can cause temporary or permanent vision loss and also bleeding or infection.

Risk factors – There are several risk factors of this type of eye disease which are given below -

  1. Age over 60
  2. Having a family history of glaucoma
  3. Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  4. Having certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, heart disease and heart disease.
  5. Having high internal eye pressure (intraocular pressure).
  6. Having corneas that are thin in the center
  7. Being black, Asian or Hispanic
  8. Taking corticosteroid medications, especially eye drops, for a long time
  9. Having had an injury on eye or certain types of eye surgery
  10. Family history of Glaucoma

Conclusion – After discussion we conclude that Glaucoma is an eye disease which is linked with elevated intraocular pressure which damages the optic nerve in the eye can lead to vision loss result blindness. It is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in all over the world.  If you feel any symptoms of this eye disease immediately consult with doctor for the treatment of glaucoma.