Glaucoma is a nightmare of a disease. Not only is it incurable with no warning signs, but any vision lost from it is permanent. That doesn’t mean you should lose hope! Glaucoma is treatable.
When treated, glaucoma can be slowed down to prevent it progressing further. This requires you to have frequent medical exams. Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and how you can slow it down!
How Glaucoma Works
Glaucoma is a disease that is usually caused by high eye pressure. In open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, the pressure build up is slow and gradual. This is why symptoms seem almost unnoticeable.
The increase in eye pressure begins to damage the optic nerve, causing vision loss. In open-angle glaucoma, build up begins because the draining system becomes blocked.
When the draining system gets blocked, fluid cannot leave the eye. As more fluid enters and less leaves, the pressure in the eye begins to rise.
Types Of Glaucoma
The counter to open-angle glaucoma is angle-closure glaucoma. This is a very serious disease and is almost the polar opposite of open-angle glaucoma.
Rather than a partial block, the fluid drain in your eye is completely cut off. When this happens, a sharp spike in eye pressure occurs from fluid build up. Damage to the optic nerve is rapid and symptoms are obvious.
Someone with angle-closure glaucoma will experience intense eye pain. This eye pain can cause headaches, nausea, and blurry vision.
This type of glaucoma is a medical emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention!
Glaucoma is also divided into groups based on what caused it. Secondary glaucoma is a rare side effect from surgery or a disease like uveitis.
Pigmentary glaucoma happens when flakes of the iris break off and plug up the mesh work drain of the eye.
In some cases, glaucoma can occur without high eye pressure. This is normal tension glaucoma. Not much is currently known about normal tension glaucoma or why it happens. It is thought to occur if someone has an extremely sensitive optic nerve.
Glaucoma is first treated with eye drops that reduce eye pressure. There are two types of drops: prostaglandins and beta-blockers. Prostaglandins are only needed once a day and are generally more popular. They work by relaxing the muscles inside of the eye which allows the fluid to flow better.
The other type of drops are beta-blockers. These drops attack the problem by decreasing the amount of fluid production in the eye. Today they are usually used as a supplement to prostaglandins.
If eye drops are not reducing intraocular pressure, surgery may be the next step. Surgery is generally reserved for cases of glaucoma that have not responded to eye drops.
Don’t forget to have regular eye exams and get tested for glaucoma. It could make all the difference!
Worried about the health of your eyes? Come get a glaucoma screening at Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT by scheduling an appointment!