Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs due to accumulation of intraocular fluid in the chambers of the eye. This leads to increased pressure in the eye and damages the optical nerve, which is responsible for sending messages from the eye to brain.
There were three different types of glaucoma based on their origin and the type of symptoms. The condition may occur due to congenital defects and abnormal eye development. Diseases such as diabetes, uveitis and eye injury can increase your risk of glaucoma. In fact, glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States. Common symptoms of the disease include blurred vision, double vision and overall poor eye sight.
The increased intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma can occur due to blocked drainage canals in the eye, which prevent the fluid from draining away from the ocular chambers. This condition is called open angle glaucoma. Closed angular glaucoma occurs due to increased ocular pressure as a result of the narrow space between iris and cornea.
Untreated glaucoma can lead to partial or complete loss of vision. Glaucoma treatment should be started immediately after diagnosis, although the diagnosis is difficult because the disease and the symptoms take many years to develop and manifest. Glaucoma treatment for mild cases includes eye drops. Patients with open-angle glaucoma may also be given pills to lower eye pressure. Severe cases of open-angle glaucoma may require laser eye surgery. This relatively uncomplicated procedure relieves the pressure in the eye and restores the natural flow of fluid in the eye. The surgery is short and the recovery is quick. Most patients can resume normal activity within a couple of days. Your doctor may also recommend refractive surgery as part of glaucoma treatment. Although it cannot restore any vision loss that has already occurred, surgical intervention can help preserve the remaining sight of the person. The procedure has a very high success rate.
Closed-angle glaucoma treatment may involve eye drops and medications as well. An emergency procedure known as iridotomy may be performed to relieve pressure and prevent future attacks. Congenital glaucoma treatment usually involves surgical intervention under general anesthesia. Secondary glaucoma treatment requires treatment of the underlying conditions along with eye pressure reduction.
The advances in medical technology can help treat even serious cases glaucoma and improve the overall quality of your life. Refractive surgery can limit the need of glasses and contact lenses.