Glaucoma is a very serious condition suffered by millions, many of whom are not aware they have it until their eyesight is severely diminished. If untreated, glaucoma can result in blindness. Many types of the condition exist and can occur without symptoms, which is why it is so important to have a yearly exam with a Phoenix eye health specialist.
Open-Angle or Wide-Angle Glaucoma
In this most common type of the disorder, fluid does not flow correctly through trabecular meshwork, which is the drainage system for the eye. Most victims are over age 50 and no other structural abnormalities have been detected in the affected eye yet the drainage system fails to work.
With acute glaucoma, pressure in the eye suddenly increases, presenting an emergency eye health condition that can result in permanent blindness if not treated promptly. The cornea swells and the eye may become red, accompanied by vision anomalies like haloes or blurring. This condition can brought on by medication, stress, extremely darkened surroundings, or any stimulus causing the pupil to open widely. Treatment begins with reducing eye pressure using medication then laser surgery to correct fluid flow.
Normal Tension Glaucoma
In this instance, the eye has normal pressure but poor blood flow to the optic nerve. This form of glaucoma is becoming more prevalent, comprising as many as a third of new glaucoma cases recognized by eye health specialists.
Found in infants and children, congenital glaucoma is usually hereditary and relates to abnormal development of the eye’s drainage system. Other causes are various early childhood medical conditions. Symptoms are unusual blinking and tearing, sensitivity to light. and poor vision, requiring surgical treatment.
This type is inherited and usually found in nearsighted young men. Pigment of the iris clogs nearby eye structures, preventing drainage and making eye pressure increase. This is often found concurrently with Exfoliation Syndrome, where other deposits on the eye are sloughed off into drainage channels, exacerbating the clog.
Any time the eye suffers injury, the risk for glaucoma grows. Chemicals, impact to the eye area, or projectiles entering the eye can disrupt drainage, increasing pressure and developing into glaucoma.
Glaucoma is no minor disease. It can be a devastating condition that robs your sight almost silently. Talk to your Phoenix eye health professional for more information and be sure to schedule a yearly eye exam for early diagnosis.