Glaucoma is a medical condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It gets worse over time and it is linked to a buildup of pressure inside your eye. This Glaucoma disease tends to run in families and you usually don’t get it until later in life. The increased pressure in your eye can damage your optic nerve. This sends images to your brain and if the damage worsens, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even total blindness within a few years.
Most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain. You must visit your eye doctor from the best eye hospital in Hyderabad regularly so they can diagnose and treat glaucoma before you have long-term vision loss.
Let’s Find Out More About Glaucoma and Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment:-
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a type of eye disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. It usually happens due to the build up of the fluid in the front part of your eye. And, the extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, thus, damaging the optic nerve.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two main kinds:-
- Open-angle Glaucoma – This is the most common type of Glaucoma. It is also called a wide-angle glaucoma. The drain structure in your eye might look fine. However, you may find that the fluid doesn’t flow out like it should.
- Acute angle-closure Glaucoma – This type of glaucoma is more common in Asia. It is also called narrow-angle glaucoma. Your eye doesn’t drain like it should. This is because the drain space between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow. This can lead to a sudden buildup of pressure in your eye and it’s also linked to farsightedness and cataracts.
Some of the Less Common Types of Glaucoma Eye Include:-
- Secondary Glaucoma – This occurs when eye disorders such as cataracts or diabetes increases pressure in your eye.
- Normal-tension Glaucoma – It occurs when you have blind spots in your vision or your optic nerve is damaged although your eye pressure is within the average range. According to some experts, it’s a form of open-angle glaucoma.
- Pigmentary Glaucoma – In this form of glaucoma, the small bits of pigment from your iris, the colored part of your eye gets into the fluid inside your eye. And, then clog the drainage canals.
There are few other types of glaucoma known as acute congestive glaucoma and congenital glaucoma.
What are the Causes of Glaucoma?
The fluid inside your eye known as the aqueous humor usually flows out of your eye through a channel. And, if this channel gets blocked, the liquid builds up. Sometimes, experts don’t know what causes this blockage.
Glaucoma is caused by:-
- Blunt or chemical injury to your eye
- Severe eye infection
- Blocked blood vessels inside your eye
- Inflammatory conditions
What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?
Usually, people suffering with open-angle glaucoma do not have any symptoms. If symptoms do develop, it might mostly be visible late in the disease. This is the reason glaucoma is often called the “sneak thief of vision.” Symptoms of glaucoma usually come on faster and are more obvious. Damage can happen quickly.
Some of the Common Symptoms are:-
- Vision loss and redness in your eye
- Hazy looking eyes
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Pain in the eyes
The doctor will do a proper review of your medical history to check for common eye diseases and conduct a comprehensive eye examination to check for glaucoma vision. The doctor may perform several tests, including:-
- Evaluating intraocular pressure and testing for optic nerve damage with a dilated eye examination and imaging tests
- Inspecting for areas of vision loss
- Measuring corneal thickness
- Examining the drainage angle
- Treatment- As per the doctors, the damage caused by glaucoma can’t be reversed. But , with the regular treatment and regular checkups vision loss can be slowed down. This type of eye disease is treated by lowering your eye pressure. Your options for treatment may include eyedrops, oral medications, laser treatment, glaucoma laser surgery or a combination of any of these.
- Prostaglandins – It helps to increase the outflow of the fluid in your eye. Thereby, reducing your eye pressure. Some of the possible side effects include stinging of the eyes, darkening of the iris and pigmentation of the eyelashes or eyelid skin, and blurred vision.
- Beta blockers – This medicine helps reduce the production of fluid in your eye. Thus, lowering the pressure in your eye. Some of the examples include timolol and betaxolol. In case, if eye drops can’t help to bring your eye pressure down to the desired level, your doctor may also prescribe an oral medication. For example, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Possible side effects include frequent urination, depression, stomach upset, and kidney stones.
A few other treatment options include laser therapy and various surgical procedures. For example,
- Laser therapy – It is an option if you have open-angle glaucoma. To perform this procedure, your doctor will use a small laser beam to open clogged channels. It may take a few weeks before the actual effect of this procedure becomes apparent.
- Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) – This surgical procedure typically requires less immediate postoperative care. And, it might have less risk than trabeculectomy or installing a drainage device. This type of surgery may often be combined with cataract surgery.
- Eye drops- Glaucoma treatment often starts with prescription eyedrops. The eyedrop lowers eye pressure by improving the fluid drains from your eye.
If you are at a risk of developing glaucoma, in that case, your medical experts would recommend a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet. This would help to improve your overall physical and mental well-being.
Suggestions for general physical well-being include maintaining a healthy weight, keeping your blood pressure at a normal level and controlling other medical conditions. You must also limit the consumption of caffeine and reduce smoking.
To know more about glaucoma and what causes red eyes, you must consult an eye doctor or a glaucoma specialist near me.