Glaucoma definition

Glaucoma definition

What are the 4 types of glaucoma?

What is usually the first sign of glaucoma?

Can glaucoma be cured?

How long does it take to go blind from glaucoma?

 

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. It can occur at any age but is more common in older adults.

Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.

Because vision loss due to glaucoma can't be recovered, it's important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of your eye pressure so a diagnosis can be made in its early stages and treated appropriately. If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented. If you have the condition, you'll generally need treatment for the rest of your life.

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What are the 4 types of glaucoma?

There are several types of glaucoma. The two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. These are marked by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye.

  • Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases:

  • Is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure
  • Has a wide and open angle between the iris and cornea
  • Develops slowly and is a lifelong condition
  • Has symptoms and damage that are not noticed.

“Open-angle” means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be. Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary or chronic glaucoma. It is the most common type of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans.

  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma, a less common form of glaucoma:

  • Is caused by blocked drainage canals, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure
  • Has a closed or narrow angle between the iris and cornea
  • Develops very quickly
  • Has symptoms and damage that are usually very noticeable
  • Demands immediate medical attention.

It is also called acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma is a result of the angle between the iris and cornea closing.

  • Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)

Also called low-tension or normal-pressure glaucoma. In normal-tension glaucoma the optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high. We still don't know why some people’s optic nerves are damaged even though they have almost normal pressure levels.

  • Congenital Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs in babies when there is incorrect or incomplete development of the eye's drainage canals during the prenatal period. This is a rare condition that may be inherited. When uncomplicated, microsurgery can often correct the structural defects. Other cases are treated with medication and surgery.

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 What is usually the first sign of glaucoma?

In addition to regular eye checkups, you can avoid the progression of glaucoma by being vigilant about noticing early warning signs of glaucoma. If you notice any or all of the following symptoms, you should see our optometrists without delay.

  1. Seeing halos around lights – This symptom may be most obvious during nighttime driving, when a halo may appear around streetlights or oncoming headlights.
  2. Vision loss in one or both eyes – If you have a blind spot in your field of vision, or notice a decrease in sharpness of vision, it’s time to be tested for glaucoma. Another form of vision loss common with glaucoma is a reduction of peripheral vision.
    3. Eye pain or pressure – Pain may be sharp or dull, or there may be a generalized feeling of pressure, akin to what you feel during a sinus infection, but in the eye.
    4. Cloudy looking eyes or whites of the eyes – This is easily discernible in a mirror.
  3. Nausea with or without vomiting – It’s common to experience this symptom in addition to one or more of the others mentioned.
  4. Chronic redness – Are your eyes red and tired looking for many days in a row? This is one of the early warning signs of glaucoma and should be looked into by your eye doctor.
  5. Seeing rainbow rings around lights – Seeing multi-colored rings around lights is a sign that glaucoma might be present.
  6. A severe and sudden headache – If you experience this along with one or more of the other symptoms noted, get treated immediately.
  7. Sudden and severe eye pain out of the blue – This is a critical warning sign of an acute attack of glaucoma, and requires emergency treatment.

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Can glaucoma be cured?

The treatment for glaucoma depends upon the nature and severity of each case. In general, glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Eye drops, pills, laser procedures, and surgical operations are used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring. With any type of glaucoma, regular eye examinations are very important to detect progression and to prevent vision loss. Because glaucoma can worsen without your being aware of it, your treatment will likely need to be changed over time to achieve a lower target eye pressure.

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How long does it take to go blind from glaucoma?

Without treatment, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Even with treatment, about 15 percent of the time glaucoma can lead to blindness in at least one eye over a period of 20 years.

Fortunately, glaucoma typically progresses very slowly, over years. The progression of vision loss can be stunted, slowed, or even stopped with treatment.

If the drainage angle in your eye gets blocked, the aqueous humor fluid level rises. This puts pressure on the optic nerve. Over time, this is what causes vision loss and eventual blindness.

Early on, there are very few symptoms of glaucoma. Some peripheral vision loss is most commonly the first physical sign. This is why it is important to undergo regular eye exams to test your IOP and make sure things are within the normal range.

Once you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, vision loss progresses slowly, particularly if you begin treatment in the early stages of the condition. The more advanced the glaucoma is when you start treating it, the more substantial vision loss can be. Rarer forms of glaucoma can also progress more rapidly, such as angle-closure glaucoma.

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10 common question about glaucoma definition

1What is glaucoma and what causes it?
Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to your eye's optic nerve and gets worse over time. It's often linked to a buildup of pressure inside your eye. ... The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to your brain.
2What are early signs of glaucoma?
Signs of Glaucoma Loss of peripheral or side vision. This is usually the first sign of vision loss due to glaucoma. Seeing halos around lights. ... Vision loss. ... Redness in the eye. ... Eye that looks hazy. ... Nausea or vomiting. ... Pain in the eye and in the head. ... Narrowing of vision (tunnel vision).
3Can glaucoma be cured?
In general, glaucoma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Eye drops, pills, laser procedures, and surgical operations are used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring. With any type of glaucoma, regular eye examinations are very important to detect progression and to prevent vision loss.
4What are the 3 types of glaucoma?
Types of glaucoma. There are four main types of glaucoma: primary open angle glaucoma, primary angle closure glaucoma, secondary glaucoma and developmental glaucoma.
5What should I avoid if I have glaucoma?
Consuming a high trans fatty acid diet can result in damaging the optic nerve. You should avoid foods like baked goods such as cookies, cakes, donuts or fried items like French fries or stick margarine to steer clear from worsening your glaucoma. It may also improve your eye health.
6Can glaucoma be caused by stress?
The literature suggests that stress may play a part in the precipitation of acute closed-angle glaucoma because intraocular pressure (IOP) can be affected by the emotional state of the patient. ... There is some evidence that glaucoma induction is associated with psychophysiological stress.
7Can you feel eye pressure?
Though eye conditions can cause eye pain and vision problems, they rarely cause pressure. Even glaucoma, which is caused by a buildup of pressure inside the eye, doesn't cause a feeling of pressure. ... Pressure behind the eyes feels like fullness or a stretching sensation inside the eye.
8Can glaucoma be stopped?
While there are no known ways of preventing glaucoma, blindness or significant vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented if the disease is recognized in the early stages. ... Glaucoma medications slow the progression of glaucoma by reducing elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) to prevent damage to the optic nerve.
9Is glaucoma a disability?
Social Security will grant disability benefits for glaucoma that has severely affected central and/or peripheral vision. Glaucoma is not a disease by itself, but refers to a group of optic nerve diseases that can cause blindness.
10Which is worse glaucoma or cataracts?
Cataracts are unlikely to be the cause of blindness, not so with Glaucoma; it can cause irreversible blindness and must be treated. Glaucoma and cataracts are more prevalent in people who suffer from diabetes. Although glaucoma may be worse in one eye than the other, usually both eyes are affected.

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