Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, the structure that connects the eye to the brain. If the pressure inside the eyeball is too high, over time there is damage to the nerve cells of the optic nerve. A complete eye examination is necessary to detect the presence of early glaucoma and to identify those individuals who are at risk of developing glaucoma.
Two Major Categories of Glaucoma:
In open angle glaucoma, there are usually no early symptoms. Early in the disease, subtle changes in the peripheral vision may occur which are not noticeable by the patient. In fact, visual loss occurs so slowly and gradually, that patients do not realize anything is wrong until the disease is quite severe.
In closed angle glaucoma, the drainage system of the eye suddenly becomes completely blocked.
This can result in a very rapid elevation in eye pressure causing symptoms like decreased vision, pain, redness, and even nausea and vomiting.
Older individuals, individuals with a family history of glaucoma and individuals with other eye diseases are at a greater risk of developing this disease. Asians are also at an increased risk of both angle-closure and open-angle glaucoma (especially normal tension glaucoma).
Treatment of Glaucoma:
Treatment of glaucoma include medications such as eye drops, laser treatment, and surgical intervention.