Glaucoma is a word we hear a lot when it comes to vision, but do you know what it is? Glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure within your eye resulting in a gradual loss of sight.
This disease damages your eye’s optic nerve and usually results when fluid builds up at the front of the eyeball because of lack of circulation. The excess fluid creates pressure within the eye, damaging the optic nerve. This condition can be prevented with early detection and treatment.
There are two major types of glaucoma: Primary Open- Angle Glaucoma and Angle-Closure Glaucoma.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common of the two types. It is a gradual progression that results because fluids in the eye do not drain as they should causing an increase in eye pressure and damage to the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma is painless and does not initially result in noticeable vision loss. However, it can lead to tunnel vision and eventually loss of vision if left untreated.
Angle-closure glaucoma happens when a person’s iris is located very close to the drainage angle in the eye. The iris can block the drainage angle, causing eye pressure to rise very quickly. This results in an acute attack and is a true eye emergency. You should contact your eye doctor right away or you could potentially go blind. Signs of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack are sudden blurry vision, severe eye pain, headaches and nausea. Some people develop this condition slowly—called chronic angle-closure glaucoma. There are no symptoms at first and then the damage occurs when they have an attack.
Other, less common, causes include blunt trauma, a chemical injury to your eye, a severe eye infection or blocked blood vessels. Rarely and eye surgery to correct another condition can result in a glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60 years old and is usually inherited. Vision loss due to this condition cannot be restored and if you suffer from glaucoma you will most likely need treatment for the rest of your life. Because there are usually no early symptoms or pain, it is important to see your eye doctor regularly.
Call Bayside Vision Center today to schedule your glaucoma screening—850.729.8711.
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