Glaucoma

There are many different types of glaucoma. The two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. These forms are often associated with an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP). This pressure can lead to irreversible damage to the optic nerves if left untreated. Oftentimes, people do not experience symptoms so it is recommended to see your eye doctor regularly. Glaucoma can be managed and treated with medicated eye drops, surgery, and laser therapy. 

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is the most common, making up 90% of people with glaucoma. The drainage angle where the iris meets the cornea is wide and open as it should be, but the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. This type of glaucoma happens so slowly, that sometimes you would not notice it until it has done damage to your optic nerves. 

The symptoms vary between different stages of the condition: 

  • Gradual patchy loss of peripheral vision

  • Loss of visual acuity and sharpness of vision

  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages

 

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma is less common. It is caused the iris bulging forward, reducing the drainage angle between the cornea and iris. It may
occur suddenly or gradually. Acute angle-closure glaucoma demands immediate medical attention. 

Common symptoms are:

  • Eye pain or pressure

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Blurry vision

  • Seeing halos around lights

  • Severe headaches

Because glaucoma may manifest before you experience any symptoms, be aware of these risk factors: 

Risk factors

  • High intraocular pressure (IOP)

  • Being over 60 years old

  • Being Asian, Black, or Hispanic

  • Having glaucoma in your family history,

  • Having pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and etc.

  • Having thing corneas centrally

  • Trauma to the eye

Prevention

It's important to have regular checkups with your eye doctor to help detect glaucoma in its early stages. These are different measures you can take to slow the progression of glaucoma. 

  • Go to your ophthalmologist for a dilated eye examination regularly. The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests having a comprehensive eye exam every five to 10 years if you're under 40 years old; every one to three years if you're 55 to 64 years old; and everyone one to two years if you're older than 65. 

  • Inform your ophthalmologist about eye conditions in your family history. 

  • Take your medicated eye drops regularly according to your ophthalmologists' directions. 

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