Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause vision loss. It is caused by pressure buildup in the eye that damages the optic nerve. When the eye does not drain properly, it develops internal pressure that tampers with the optic nerve. Glaucoma symptoms develop over a long time. Most patients do not realize that they have glaucoma until it’s too late. It is not clear what causes glaucoma. Some of the causes may be genetics, age, and other medical conditions.
Glaucoma presents in two main types. The difference between the first type and the second type is the intraocular pressure inside the eye. The first type is open-angle glaucoma, and the second type is angle-closure glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the common type. It occurs when the eye drainage is clogged, causing a buildup in pressure. It develops slowly, and the symptoms do not present until the very advanced stages. It causes extensive damage by the time it is discovered.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when there is a narrow-angle between the iris and the cornea. It affects the drainage of the eye resulting in sudden intraocular pressure. It develops quickly and demands immediate intervention to save the eye. Glaucoma can be congenital, or it can develop over time. Incomplete development of the eye’s drainage system can also result in glaucoma. Glaucoma can also be a result of traumatic injury.
Sometimes, people develop glaucoma as a result of other underlying conditions. Inflammation inside the eye can cause long-term drainage problems. Bleeding in the eye, corneal edema from injuries as well as retinal detachment can result in glaucoma. Advanced cataracts, macular degeneration, and congenital eye defects can also develop into glaucoma over time.
Glaucoma is a tricky condition that develops over time like a chronic disease. Sometimes, the symptoms do not show until it’s very late. Glaucoma tests are not painful. The specialist measures eye pressure with a tonometer. The doctor also examines the optic nerve for signs of strain and damage.
The sharpness of your vision and peripheral vision is also examined. Young children are checked for cloudy corneas at birth. If they have larger than normal pupils or if they have irregularly shaped corneas, the doctor keeps examining them for signs of glaucoma development.
The best prevention of glaucoma is early detection. If you know that you are at a high risk of developing glaucoma, keep up with your routine eye exams. If you have a family history of glaucoma, make sure you get checked regularly. Wear protective eyewear when you engage in sports. Protect your eyes if your work environment can bring harm to them.
Watch out for signs and seek medical attention when you experience symptoms. Some of the symptoms include headaches, dilated pupils, nausea, blurry vision, and seeing halos. Other warning signs include red eyes combined with throbbing eye pain. Patients who have had macular degeneration, refractive surgery, and multiple eye infections are also at risk. Diabetic patients and hypertensive people should also be on the watch out for glaucoma.
Learn more about preventing glaucoma, contact Wear Eyewear in Chicago or Orland Park, Illinois at (312) 626-0036 or (708) 349-9327 to schedule an appointment.