There is a group of eye diseases that can severely hamper the optic nerve, glaucoma is one them. The concerning fact is that the optic nerve, which carries information from the eye to the brain, is in the back of the eye. When the nerve is damaged, you can lose your eyesight. According to different research, more than 3 million adult Americans are suffering from glaucoma, one of the main causes of blindness in the US. Generally, chronic open angle glaucoma which is the most common form that appears in the middle age and seems to have genetic competent.
On the inside of your eye there is a continuous production and draining away of a fluid which is called aqueous humor. This fluid is also known as aqueous, produced by the cell inside of our eye and there should be a balance in the trabecular meshwork. If there is any problem in the proper draining of the aqueous, it will increase pressure inside the eye. The ultimate result of this persistent pressure on delicate retinal nerve fibers and that may lead to the permanent loss of vision. If the eye glaucoma problem properly not detected the damage become irreversible.
Types of eye glaucoma
Glaucoma is a not a single disease, but it is a group of diseases, all of which share a collective outcome. Irreparable damage to delicate nerve fibers and the optic nerve that sends information to the brain.
- Open-angle glaucoma: The most common type of glaucoma is called chronic open-angle glaucoma, accounting for about 75%-90% of cases. There are multiple causes of this type of glaucoma. In chronic open-angle glaucoma, both eyes may be affected at the same time, but one eye is often worse than the other.
- Narrow or closed-angle glaucoma: There is a less common type of glaucoma, which is known as narrow or closed-angle glaucoma that occurs with blurred vision, and one may suffer from severe pain in the eye and head. In this type of glaucoma, there is a huge problem in the flow of aqueous from entering the drainage system, which lead to a sudden and severe increase in pressure inside the eye. Same as the effect of open-angle glaucoma the huge pressure irreversibly damages the rental and the optic nerve fibers. To restore regular aqueous outflow, lessen pressure, and to prevent severe damage to the eye and blindness in the case of acute closed-angle glaucoma is to go for emergency medical care.
- Congenital glaucoma: There is another type of glaucoma, which is known as congenital glaucoma that is very rare. Especially the infant child at birth or within two or three years are the victim of congenital glaucoma. When the infant child’s are infested with this type of glaucoma their corneas become cloudy and that are sensitive to light and have excessive tearing. If the problem is not diagnosed and treated early that may lead to ultimate vision loss and even blindness.
Causes of eye glaucoma
Generally the reason behind the eye glaucoma is an imbalance between the amount of internal fluid produced and the amount that drains away. Anatomically there is a little space in the front of the eye called the anterior chamber. When a patient has glaucoma, the fluid does not drain properly. This leads to fluid build-up and the pressure rise inside the eye. If this pressure is not treated in proper time, the optic nerve and other parts of the eye become damaged, might lead to loss of vision.
There is another type of glaucoma, which is known as secondary glaucoma. This type of glaucoma mainly caused by other eye diseases or condition. For example, we can say if any glaucoma patient who has a tumor or undergoing long-term steroid therapy may cause secondary glaucoma. The secondary cause of glaucoma includes:
- Previous eye injury.
- Severe inflammation in the eye.
- Problematic blood vessel formation due to diabetics.
- Use of steroid-containing medications (pills, eye drops, sprays) or
- Pigment spreading, where tiny fragments or granules from the iris (the colored part of the eye) can mingle in the aqueous humor (the fluid within the front portion of the eye) and slab the trabecular mesh-work, the tiny drain for the eye’s aqueous humor.
Symptoms of eye glaucoma
It is very important to know, all the patients with open-angled glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma, have no symptoms until they done a severe damage of vision. As the damage of eyesight is irreversible the patient should take effective care about the problem. You should go to an eye specialist to test open-angled glaucoma, if there is a family history of glaucoma. The symptoms of glaucoma may vary depending on the types of glaucoma, which are given below:
- In the case of open-angled glaucoma, there is a loss of peripheral field vision which may be the first symptoms of glaucoma, and because this occurs so slowly, the patient usually does not notice the loss of sight.
- Symptoms of acute closed or narrow-angle glaucoma include rapid onset of severe excruciating pain and redness in the eye, headaches (on the same side as the affected eye), blurred vision, halos around lights, foggy vision, a dilated pupil, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. It is often described as “the worst eye pain of my life”.
- Symptoms of congenital glaucoma, sometimes seen in newborns or in the first few years of life. Signs include tearing, sensitivity to light, and eyelid spasm and a larger cornea and clouding of the normally transparent cornea.
Treatment for eye glaucoma
Most eye specialists recommend you some effective treatment for glaucoma depending on your disease condition. Many treatment options are available to treat glaucoma. These may include:
- Eye drops
- Laser procedures and
All the eye glaucoma treatment aims at decreasing eye pressure and to protect the optic nerve. When glaucoma has already caused the vision loss, further vision loss may occur even after the pressure in the eye is lowered to the normal range with medicine. Talk to an eye specialist about the goals of treatment, how long the medicine should continue? Is there any possible side effects? Eye medicines can cause symptoms throughout the body. You will need follow-up visits with your doctor to find out whether your medicine is working as well as it should.
About your eye glaucoma medications
- Use your glaucoma medicines as prescribed by your doctor. If you need reminders for using your medicines, use alarm clocks or watches, notes on mirrors or tables, and other cues.
- Use eye drops. This can help reduce side effects. If you notice side effects from your glaucoma medicine, tell your doctor. Your medicine may need to be changed.
- If you have closed-angle glaucoma or you are at risk for it, check with a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicines. You’ll need to avoid medicines that widen (dilate) the pupil, such as certain antihistamines and motion sickness medicines.
- Make sure all your doctors know that you have glaucoma. Tell your eye specialist what other prescription medicines you are taking.
- Cost-saving tips for glaucoma. For example, use a measured-dose dispenser.
- Carry a wallet card or other identification that states that you have glaucoma. The card needs to list all medicines you are taking, including glaucoma medicines.
Remember, all forms of medical or surgical treatment have potential benefits and risks. Before giving your consent, always ask the surgeon to clearly explain any treatment or surgery as well as the proposed benefits, effective alternatives, and potential risks or complications.