What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is known as the "sneak thief of sight". It is an eye disease in which the passages that allow fluid in the eye to drain become clogged or blocked. This results in the amount of fluid in the eye building up and causing increased pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure damages the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is the main carrier of vision information to the brain. Damage to it results in less information sent to the brain and a loss of vision. Poor blood flow behind the eye may also contribute to glaucoma.
Who is at risk?
If you have:
High eye pressure
Family history of glaucoma
Age 40 and older, especially for African Americans
Health problems e.g. Diabetes and high blood pressure
Two types of Glaucoma
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma:
It often develops gradually and painlessly, without signs or symptoms until the visual field is severely diminished. Ninety percent of the patients with glaucoma have the open angle variety.
Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma:
It is accompanied by blurred vision, headaches, nausea, vomiting, appearance of colored rings around lights, pain, and redness in the eyes. It occurs less often than the open angle variety.
Glaucoma can usually be treated effectively by using eye drops or other medicines. In some cases surgery may be necessary. Unfortunately, any loss of vision from glaucoma cannot be restored. But early detection, prompt treatment and regular monitoring can enable you to continue living in much the same way as you have always lived.