What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve and leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. It’s the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
Causes of Glaucoma
Experts are unsure what is the exact cause of glaucoma, but it’s usually associated with the high pressure inside the eye. Other causes may include low blood flow to the optic nerve, severe eye infections, or Physical eye injury.
Who is Most Likely to Get Glaucoma?
Anyone can get glaucoma, but the following factors can increase the risk for developing glaucoma
- Family history of glaucoma
- Age, people over 60
- Race, African Americans over the age of 40
- Thin corneas
- Physical injuries to the eye
- Medical Conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure
Types of Glaucoma
There are many different types of glaucoma, the two major types of glaucoma: primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), and acute closed-angle glaucoma.
Primary open-angle glaucoma – also known as chronic open-angle glaucoma – is the most common form of glaucoma, the damage to the optic nerve occurs slowly over time, without pain, and usually no symptoms in the early stages.
Closed-angle glaucoma is a less common form of the disease, it happens quickly it can cause vision loss within a day. Its symptoms may include severe eye pain, nausea, and blurred vision.
Prevention and Treatment
Glaucoma cannot be prevented or cured; vision loss caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. But if it is detected and treated early, it can usually be controlled. It’s very important for everyone to visit the eye doctor and get a regular detailed eye exam, especially the elderly this should be every year. This is the only way to detect glaucoma in its early stages and to treat it to stop the damage and protect the vision.
The goal of glaucoma treatment is to reduce eye pressure to a level at which no more damage happens. Doctors use a few different types of treatment for glaucoma. Treatment may include medicines, laser treatment, and surgery.