Glaucoma is a prevalent eye condition affecting the optic nerve. Although genetically inherited, this condition does not develop until later in life. One of the leading causes of glaucoma is pressure buildup in the eye, which, in severe cases, leads to complete vision loss. Luckily, Swati Kumar OD, FAAO, is a specialist with the proper knowledge and experience in diagnosing glaucoma in its early stages and develops an ideal treatment to prevent further complications.
What causes glaucoma?
Aqueous humor is the fluid inside your eye that keeps your eye moist. However, the fluid must drain out to create room for more produced by your eye. The liquid will drain out through a mesh-like channel in a healthy eye. Unfortunately, patients with eye problems might have a blockage in the canal and thus prevent aqueous humor from flowing out, causing buildup. Although the condition can occur due to having a positive family history of glaucoma, other causes of blockage in the channel may include injury or inflammation.
What are the symptoms of glaucoma?
Many patients with glaucoma do not exhibit any symptoms or discomfort in their eyes. However, patients must receive an early diagnosis because it improves treatment results. If you do not detect glaucoma in its early stages, you risk losing your sight. Total vision loss is a significant concern because it is irreversible. Eye specialists recommend regular eye checkups to detect any pressure buildup and deal with the problem before it worsens.
What are the types of glaucoma?
The two main types of glaucoma include:
- Open-angle glaucoma: Patients with this type of glaucoma experience fluid buildup in their eyes, although the trabecular mesh-like channel appears okay.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: Whenever there is a narrowing in the space between the iris and cornea, it becomes difficult for fluid to drain out properly. Many patients with this condition may also develop farsightedness or cataracts.
Other less common types of glaucoma include:
- Secondary glaucoma: This condition develops due to an underlying condition like diabetes or inflammation that may be causing narrowing in the eye vessels. Leading a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing lifestyle diseases that exacerbate secondary glaucoma.
- Normal-tension glaucoma: Some specialists classify this condition as a subtype of open-angle glaucoma because there is damage in the optic nerve without any pressure buildup.
- Pigmentary glaucoma: This condition occurs when there is a blockage in the drainage canals due to clogging by particles of the iris.
When should you see a doctor?
It is essential to go for regular eye exams because glaucoma is a condition that does not present symptoms until severe stages. Your eye doctor will dilate your eyes using special drops to examine your vision. Tonometry is a test for pressure in the eye, which your doctor should include when reviewing your condition. You may need additional imaging tests on your optic nerve, especially if your doctor suspects you have glaucoma. Contact Alamo Eye Care if you want to know about the different treatment options for your glaucoma to prevent your risk of losing your vision.