What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma refers to eye conditions that lead to optic nerve damage

Glaucoma is best defined as an eye disorder where the optic nerves sustain damage. This has the effect of permanently harming the vision in the impacted eye and possibly progressing all the way to total blindness if glaucoma treatment is neglected.

In most cases, glaucoma is related to a worsening pressure of fluid in an eye. This fluid is referred to as aqueous humour.

Symptoms

Symptoms of glaucoma are spread out between the two major types of glaucoma: closed- and open-angle glaucoma. Glaucoma symptoms for closed-angle glaucoma count for only less than 10 percent of all glaucoma cases in the U.S. Some of the signs and symptoms for closed-angle glaucoma include seeing halos around light sources, ocular pain, high intraocular pressure, red eye, lowered vision, vomiting and nausea, and a mid-dilated and fixed pupil. On the other hand, open-angle glaucoma counts for almost all cases of reported glaucoma cases in the US. It is painless, and its symptoms include optic nerve changes and visual field loss.

Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma treatment consists of a two-pronged approach that uses both medicine and surgery to address glaucoma. Because these glaucoma medications have systemic and local side effects, the continued use of these medications by patients may get to be both expensive as well as confusing. Glaucoma patients sometimes end up losing their vision not from the underlying glaucoma itself. At times, patients fail to cooperate with necessary, follow-up doctor’s visits as well as the need to take the actual medication.

Glaucoma Medications

Eye drops are effective at lessening intraocular pressure, while Lumigan and Xalatan (prostaglandin analogs) have been shown to improve aqueous humour’s uveoscleral outflow. Other medicines like Betagan (levobunonol, a beta-blocker) lower the production of an eye’s aqueous humour, helping with the control of glaucoma. Another effective drug at fighting glaucoma is called physostigmine. This drug works efficiently for both glaucoma and delayed gastric emptying.

Glaucoma Surgery

The other treatment option against glaucoma is surgery, and this can include both conventional as well as laser surgery. In general, surgery is the treatment prescribed for patients who have to endure congenital glaucoma. Surgery for glaucoma comprises laser surgery, canaloplasty, glaucoma drainage implants, trabeculectomy, veterinary implants, and even laser-assisted and non-penetrating deep sclerectomy. Operations are only temporary solutions since there is no known cure for glaucoma.

Types of Surgery

Laser surgery involves using the laser to open the eye’s trabecular meshwork in order to allow more flow of aqueous humour fluid. Canaloplasty involves enlarging the eye canal so that the pressure from glaucoma can be relieved. Trabeculectomy involves the letting out of fluid in the eye by way of creating a flap, under which the excess fluid should flow. Implant surgeries involve the insertion of a flow tube into patients’ anterior eye chambers in order to permit flow of aqueous humour fluid into a manufactured chamber.

Avoiding glaucoma is possible, even though the disease can also be caused by unavoidable factors like heredity. The best recommendation to avoid glaucoma is to keep visiting a doctor regularly for eye exams, especially if you are older than 20. Another simple step is to simply take prescription eye drops on a regular basis. Together, these easy-to-remember precautions can help to avoid the onset of glaucoma.

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