The world and the things around us are so beautiful and there is so much in the world to see. In fact, most of us take our eyesight for granted, and because one of the things glaucoma causes is blindness – so much so that glaucoma causes more blindness than anything else in the world, it is something we should take seriously.
Causes of Glaucoma
Our eyes are incredibly complex. Fluid is constantly flowing through the eyes and is carefully controlled so the eye keeps its round shape and doesn’t get too hard or too soft. This fluid is called aqueous humor. This liquid is secreted into the eye, flows around through the pupil and exits the eye via a system of microscopic channels. Glaucoma is usually caused by this fluid becoming obstructed leading to a build-up of pressure in the eye. Unfortunately there is no known way of preventing glaucoma, so treatment is very important.
Glaucoma can manifest in two different ways – Primary open angle glaucoma and primary angle closure glaucoma. Primary open angle glaucoma is a slow glaucoma development of build-up of aqueous humor when it can’t exit the eye because the microscopic drainage channels become blocked while primary angle closure glaucoma is caused when the aqueous humor can’t pass through the pupil and causes a much more rapid increase in pressure in the eye. Ultimately, glaucoma leads to the damage to the optic nerve being caused by the higher than normal pressure in the eye. There are several other causes of glaucoma like eye injuries, inflammation, medicine side-effects amongst others.
With primary open angle glaucoma symptoms are difficult to spot. Normally, you will start to notice a loss of vision to your peripheral vision. This will slowly increase towards your central vision until your vision is severely affected. Diagnosis is often made too late because there is no pain associated with primary open angle glaucoma. This is why, during your regular eye examination, optometrists will often check for signs of glaucoma by checking the pressure of the eye.
In cases of primary angle closure glaucoma, the eye rapidly becomes very painful and is usually followed by severe headaches. You might also notice a halo effect around bright lights. This type of glaucoma causes you to feel very sick and can even lead to vomiting. People over the age of 50 are the usual sufferers of this type of glaucoma.
Treatment of Glaucoma
Primary open angle glaucoma treatment is usually begun using eye drops like beta-blockers. They reduce the amount of fluid being secreted by the eye. There are other drop types used in this glaucoma treatment. If eye drops aren’t for you, there are also tablets available; however they do have many side effects. Laser and surgical treatment is also sometimes used.
For glaucoma remedies to treat primary angle closure glaucoma, treatment must be much quicker, so medicines like acetazolamide are given intravenously to rapidly decrease pressure in the eye. Laser treatment is used more often in these cases. In some cases a trabeculectomy is performed surgically to relive pressure in the eye.