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What Is Glaucoma?


Glaucoma is a condition that damages the eye’s optic nerve and only gets worse over time. It can be linked to the buildup of pressure in the eye. It is often inherited and does not always show up until later in life. The increased pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images to the brain. If the damage continues untouched, it can lead to permanent vision loss. Without any treatment, glaucoma can cause complete blindness within a few years. Most people who have glaucoma have no pain or early symptoms. Seeing an eye doctor regularly can help diagnose the issue and treat it before long-term vision impairment occurs. Anyone who is over 40 and has a family history of glaucoma should have an eye exam every year.

What Causes Glaucoma?

The ailment results from high fluid pressure inside the eye. The front part of the eye doesn’t circulate as it should. Usually, the fluid flows out of the eye, but if the channels get blocked, it can build up and cause glaucoma. The reason for the blockage is unknown, but it often appears inherited. There could also be blunt or chemical injuries to the eye or severe infections or other inflammatory conditions.

What Are The Types?

There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle and angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type. The drain structure in the eye looks normal, but the fluid doesn’t flow out as it should. Angle-closure glaucoma includes an eye that doesn’t drain right because the cornea and iris are too narrow. The iris is basically in the way, which can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye.

Who Is At Risk?

Glaucoma generally affects adults over 40, but younger individuals can get it as well. You will more likely get it if you already have poor vision, you have diabetes, you have had trauma to your eyes, or you have a family history of the illness.

What Are The Symptoms?

Glaucoma is dangerous and tricky because there are no immediate symptoms. The first sign is often peripheral vision loss, but that can go unnoticed until later on in the illness. Detecting the ailment early is a good reason to see an eye doctor every year. The pressure inside the eye can rise in sever levels, which could give you sudden eye pain, blurred vision, or headaches. If you have any of those, you will want to see an eye doctor right away.

How Is It Treated?

The eye doctor may prescribe you many different treatments, depending on the severity of your glaucoma. You might get eye drops to reduce the formation of fluid and increase its flow. You may also need laser surgery to increase the flow of fluid or stop the blockage. Or, you might need microsurgery to create a new channel to drain fluid. No matter what the treatment plan is, it is imperative to see an eye doctor every year in order to avoid having the issue rise up on you by surprise.

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