Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. The optic nerves' function is to transmit images that are seen from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma usually occurs when the natural fluid of the eye is overproduced, or when the fluid does not drain adequately. The most common characteristic, and glaucoma cause, is high intraocular pressure (IOP). Left untreated, high IOP causes the delicate fibers of the optic nerve to become damaged, which may lead to blind spots and vision loss. If the entire nerve is damaged, blindness will occur.
There are a variety of different types of glaucoma, as well as glaucoma treatments in Chicago, IL. The most common types are open and closed angle glaucoma. In addition, low pressure, secondary and congenital are other forms of glaucoma.
Open angle glaucoma and narrow angle glaucoma progresses slowly. Vision loss is not usually noticed until a substantial change in vision has occurred. In most cases, the peripheral vision is affected first.
The symptoms of angle closure glaucoma are more noticeable. The side effects are more sudden and may include blurred vision, severe pain and nausea. If patients don't seek treatment immediately, blindness may occur.
It is possible to experience symptoms of glaucoma with normal eye pressure. The development of low pressure (normal tension) glaucoma is less understood than the OAG or NAG form, but is usually attributed to low blood pressure in vessels which bring blood to the optic nerve, or due to sensitive optic nerves.
This non-traditional type of glaucoma may be caused by injury, infection, drugs and other health issues that block the drainage channels for eye fluid. Similar to open angle glaucoma, secondary glaucoma involves a gradual loss of vision.
At birth, infants may possess inadequate eye drainage systems. Congenital glaucoma symptoms include: enlarged eyes, cloudy corneas, light sensitivity and excessive tearing. If not treated quickly, congenital glaucoma may lead to permanent blindness.
Unfortunately, there is no cure, but with proper glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, it can be controlled, and vision loss can be avoided. Glaucoma procedures and treatments include:
The use of medication and eye drops are the most common remedies for glaucoma correction. Different results are achieved depending upon the type of medication used. Some eye drops allow for more rapid draining, while others decrease the production of new fluid.
Individuals are more at risk if they have elevated internal eye pressure, are over the age of 60, have a family history of glaucoma, are extremely nearsighted, have diabetes or are of African-American descent.