Everything you need to know about Glaucoma Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
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Everything you need to know about Glaucoma Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Glaucoma is not a single condition that affects the eyes; instead it is a group of diseases that cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the connecting chord between the brain and eye, which is made up of about a million tiny nerve fibers. It is an important link between your brain and your ability to see and so, any damage to the optic nerve has a direct effect on your vision. Glaucoma can cause several problems related to eyesight including blindness. However, if detected early on, it can be treated and resolved.

Glaucoma Causes

Glaucoma is a result of failure to drain fluid from the eye, which can be caused by several factors. Our eyes are constantly producing a liquid called aqueous humor which provides nourishment to the eyes and keeps it inflated with a consistent pressure. Since the eyes are constantly producing this liquid, it also needs to be drained regularly. The drainage pipe in the eye is called the drainage angle. When the drainage angle fails to drain the old liquid, the pressure on the eye is increased, thereby damaging the optic nerve. The damage to the optic nerve means killing a few nerve fibers, resulting in blind spots.

Types of Glaucoma

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• Where the drainage angle is “OPEN”: In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye's drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.

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• Where the drainage angle is “NARROW”: Narrow angle glaucoma occurs suddenly when fluid builds up behind the iris. This build-up of fluid causes a sudden, dangerous increase in intraocular pressure.

• Normal-tension glaucoma (NTG), also known as low tension or normal pressure glaucoma, is a form of glaucoma in which damage occurs to the optic nerve without eye pressure exceeding the normal range. In general, a "normal" pressure range is between 12-22 mm Hg.

People with irregular heartbeat or a medical history of systemic heart disease are more prone to normal tension glaucoma. The exact, definite cause of NTG is still a mystery. However, you can visit the best eye hospital in Mumbai for a check-up where the doctor can detect NTG by observing the optic nerve.

Glaucoma Symptoms

Glaucoma is also known as the “silent thief of sight” because it usually doesn’t show any symptoms at the start. Glaucoma vision loss begins at the edges of the cornea, eventually reaching a stage where the person starts to miss noticing objects out of the corner of their eyes. As the disease progresses, the central vision also deteriorates, eventually causing blindness if it is not treated in a timely manner. It is important to get yourself checked regularly at the best eye hospital in Mumbai after a certain age since glaucoma begins with no noticeable symptoms.

Glaucoma Treatment

After being diagnosed, depending upon the type of glaucoma, treatment determined which includes use of eye drops, laser and surgery, as prescribed by the eye doctor. While some of these medications can have side effects, most people do not experience any. There is also the option of laser surgery, depending on the cause of the condition as well as its severity. When both medication and laser surgery are not viable options of treatment, doctors resort to traditional glaucoma surgery which lowers the eye pressure 60-80% of the time. Following the surgery, the patients require no additional medication for a long time.

Glaucoma is a serious condition that can cause permanent blindness if left undiagnosed. If you think you might be at risk of developing the disease, visit the best eye hospital in Mumbai and get yourself checked.