Eye Condition: Glaucoma

When there is damage to the optic nerve due to the elevated pressure in the eye refers to the group of conditions called glaucoma. The danger of leaving glaucoma untreated is that it can cause blindness.

If you have normal pressure inside your eyes, it is still possible to have glaucoma. It is important to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist to spot signs of glaucoma to provide treatment before vision loss happens.

Any age is at risk of developing glaucoma but it usually occurs later in life.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

There are different types of glaucoma and the symptoms vary from what type and severity of the condition. Routine eye exams are important because the most common type of glaucoma does not have warning signs and can only be detected during an eye exam.

The following common symptoms of glaucoma:

  • Increased eye pressure
  • Blurry vision
  • Redness in eye
  • Pain in the eye
  • Headaches
  • Blind spots
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting

Peripheral vision loss will occur if glaucoma is left undetected and untreated and it will eventually lead to blindness. Vision loss cannot be restored and you still may experience it even if you undergo treatment when you detect it at a later stage.


Types of Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). It is the most common type of glaucoma. The aqueous humor does not drain fast enough from the eye and the drainage angle remains open.

Angle-closure glaucoma is a rare type of glaucoma. It occurs when the iris cuts off completely the drainage angle of the eye. The most common symptoms of this type of glaucoma are redness in the eye, severe pain, and nausea. If treatment is provided immediately, permanent vision loss can be prevented.

Secondary glaucoma occurs when there is a pre-existing eye condition, illness, or injury. It can form in open-angle or narrow-angle.

Developmental glaucoma is also called congenital glaucoma because it is a condition that is detected in the early stage of life. After all, it is present at birth.

Normal-tension glaucoma is a less common form of glaucoma. The exact cause is not defined but it is said to be related to the reduced blood circulation in the optic nerve.


Detecting Glaucoma

Tonometry refers to the tests that determine the pressure in your eyes or intraocular pressure. Measuring IOP helps in determining risk in glaucoma.

The two basic types of tonometry tests are called applanation tonometry and non-contact tonometry.

Applanation tonometry is performed by applying a numbing eye drop to measure while non-contact tonometry uses an instrument that measures IOP with a puff of air that does not give you any discomfort.

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