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Glaucoma Symptoms and Treatment

Glaucoma Symptoms and Treatment

January 21, 2022
Glaucoma Symptoms and Treatment

Glaucoma is a condition that damages your eye’s optic nerve and it worsens over time. It is generally associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma tends to run in families. You usually don’t get it until later in life. Intraocular pressure can damage your optic nerve, which sends images to your brain. If the damage worsens, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even total blindness within a few years.

Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs. The effect is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the condition is at an advanced stage. It is important to have regular eye exams that include measurements of your eye pressure so a diagnosis can be made in its early stages and treated appropriately. If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be slowed or prevented.

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Symptoms
  • Patchy blind spots in your side or central vision for open-angle glaucoma
  • Tunnel vision in the advanced stages of open-angle glaucoma

Acute angle glaucoma causes:

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Eye redness

See a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms to avoid worsening the condition.

The Risk Factors of Glaucoma

  • Intraocular pressure
  • Being over age 60
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Medical conditions
  • Having corneas that are thin in the center
  • Being extremely nearsighted or farsighted
  • Eye injury and certain types of eye surgery
  • Taking corticosteroids

Five Types of Glaucoma

  1. Open-angle glaucoma. It is the most typical form of the disease. Open angle-glaucoma causes pressure in the eye to gradually increase. This pressure damages the optic nerve.
  2. Angle-closure glaucoma. It is also known as closed-angle glaucoma, which occurs when the iris bulges forward to narrow or block the drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris. Angle-closure glaucoma prevents the fluid to circulate through the eye and pressure increases.
  3. Normal-tension glaucoma. It damages the optic nerve regardless of whether the eye pressure is within the normal range.
  4. Glaucoma in children. It may occur from birth or develop in the first few years of life. The optic nerve damage may be caused by drainage blockages or an underlying medical condition.
  5. Pigmentary glaucoma. It causes pigment granules from your iris to build up in the drainage channels, slowing or blocking fluid exiting your eye. Activities such as jogging sometimes stir up the pigment granules and cause intermittent pressure elevations.
man having eye test in clinic

How to Diagnose Glaucoma?

After assessing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may recommend:

  • Tonometry
  • Testing for optic nerve damage with a dilated eye examination and imaging tests.
  • Visual field test
  • Pachymetry
  • Gonioscopy

Treatment for Glaucoma

Treatment for glaucoma includes lowering eye pressure.  Doctors may also recommend surgery for severe glaucoma. Using eye drops can also help. You can use any of the following;

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