Damages to the optic nerve of the eyes are termed as Glaucoma. Accumulation of excessive pressure inside the eyes causes this condition.
An Inherited Eye Disease – Glaucoma
It is an inherited eye disease and many times caused due to poor eye care. Optic nerve is responsible to transmit the images seen by the eyes to the brain. The brain reads, interprets and send signals to the eyes about the images received. The increase in eye pressure called intraocular pressure affects the transmission of the images, causing blurred and poor vision. Over time, with no proper treatment or knowledge about increased pressure in the optical nerves, it may cause permanent loss of vision. Just like a few eye conditions, glaucoma has no apparent symptoms or warning signs to get proper treatment. With periodic eye examination, glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before complications arise.
What causes glaucoma?
As mentioned above, the cause of glaucoma refers to the cause of increased pressure in the eyes. The major cause would be due to improper circulation of eye fluid in the exteriors of the eye! The fluid flows uninterruptedly through a channel. Blockage of this channel leads to building up fluids which in turn increases the pressure. The actual cause of this blockage is not yet identified; however, this could be due to genetics and inheritance.
Besides inheritance, there are few other circumstances that may lead to glaucoma. A blunt damage to the eye, chemical exposure, severe infection, blockages or damages to the blood vessels, swelling, etc may cause glaucoma. Besides, surprisingly, eye surgery may also lead to glaucoma. In general, both optic nerves get damaged in both eyes, but the extent of damages can vary.
You may have a higher risk of developing glaucoma under the following circumstances:
- Family history of glaucoma
- Diabetes or family history of diabetes
- Poor vision
- Trauma to eyes
- Certain medications like steroids, antidepressants etc consumed for a longer time
However, it isn’t the intensity of the eye pressure that causes glaucoma. There are many individuals who could tolerate the increased pressure! Besides, a level of eye pressure measured as high, moderate and low differs with one another. For instance, if you can tolerate high level of intensity, your co-worker find it too hard to cope with the same level. So, optic nerve is damaged when the nerves couldn’t tolerate the intense pressure!
How glaucoma can be recognized?
Well, in most cases the signs aren’t very apparent and the intraocular pressure in the eye aggravates without causing any symptoms. The primary sign of glaucoma is side vision or peripheral vision, which is often unnoticed.
The eye pressure may elevate suddenly causing loss of vision. The unexpected loss of vision is terrible! Some of the symptoms of glaucoma include,
- Redness of the eyes frequently
- Blurred vision accompanied by headache
- Sudden intense eye pain
- Narrowing vision
Types of Glaucoma
There are two types of glaucoma, namely open angle glaucoma and closure angle glaucoma.
Open angle glaucoma – Also termed as wide angle glaucoma, this condition refers to disruptions in the flow of fluids.
Closure angle glaucoma – Also termed as chronic glaucoma or narrow angle glaucoma, the condition is characterized by narrowing angle between the cornea and the iris. The narrowed angle builds up sudden and severe eye pressure.
Glaucoma – How it can be treated and prevented
Treating glaucoma includes many options from simple eye drops to micro surgery. Applying eye drops regularly over certain period reduces the intraocular pressure.
Laser surgery and micro surgery are performed when the eye drops and pills fail to improve the condition. The surgical procedure aids in removal of excessive fluids and blockages in the eyes.
Regrettably, glaucoma is a congenital condition, inherited by the baby from the mother! When the infants are born with glaucoma, surgery is the only option to cure the disease.
To prevent or treat the condition at an early stage, early eye examination is recommended for everyone who is aged 40 plus years. With family history of glaucoma or diabetes, the risk of eye diseases is high. Scheduling frequent visits help saving your vision.