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Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness according to statistics and data gathered from by the National Eye Institute. The disease is related to the high amount of fluid in the eyes.
A fluid called the aqueous humor resides in our eyes to help maintain healthy eye pressure keeping the eyes in its proper form. It normally circulates in its front portion of the eyes and flows out small amounts through a tiny drain called the trabecular meshwork.
When this trabecular meshwork gets blocked, this will cause a buildup of fluid leading to high eye pressure. High eye pressure is the hallmark of the disease and it can gradually decrease your peripheral vision and over time and could lead to very narrow vision (tunnel vision) then blindness.
Causes of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease that can either be hereditary (Congenital Glaucoma) or can be brought about by another eye condition or disease (Secondary Glaucoma).
Congenital Glaucoma – It is a rare type of Glaucoma that can be detected as early as between the ages of 3-6 months and affects about 1 in 10,000 infants.
Secondary Glaucoma – This type may be caused by the following:
Kinds of Glaucoma
Glaucoma may affect anyone in two ways as it may occur only in one eye or both.
Open-angle Glaucoma – This is the gradual kind of Glaucoma that affects both eyes simultaneously with one eye possibly being more affected than the other.
Angle-closure Glaucoma – This is also known as acute, chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. The disease occurs more often in Asians than Westerners. Eye pressure buildup is due to the narrowing of the angle between the iris and the cornea which causes cataracts, clouding of the lens in the eye, and farsightedness.
Glaucoma is one of the known diseases that has no cure but the good news is you can take steps in slowing down its progression. Its best to have it treated as early as possible since any vision loss that is caused by the disease cannot be restored. This is why it is strongly suggested that you seek medical attention at once if you notice a combination of the following symptoms:
Depending on the condition of the eye, your doctor may administer or perform the following:
Eye Drops – The doctor may administer or prescribe eye drops that can either reduce fluid formation in the eye or help normally drain it out. Some ingredients of these eye drops may cause allergies which are why it is best to tell your doctor about any allergic reactions you may have to certain medications.
Laser Surgery – Often performed on patients with Open-angle Glaucoma. Various procedures may be performed to either help drain the fluid or reduce the excess production of fluid.
To help drain fluid
To reduce fluid production
Microsurgery – Through a procedure called Trabeculectomy, a channel is created somewhere behind the upper eyelid to help drain the fluid in the eye.
Sources: nei.nih.gov, aao.org, livestrong.com, webmd.com, djo.harvard.edu
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