What is Glaucoma and How Can It Be Treated?

by | Aug 25, 2022 | News

Glaucoma is an eye condition that is common amongst the elderly population, and occurs where the optic nerve (connecting the brain to the eye) becomes damaged. It is typically caused by a built up of fluid in the frontal area of the eye, which subsequently causes an increase in pressure within the eye.

If not treated properly, glaucoma can unfortunately lead to a substantial loss of vision if it is not treated correctly.

Signs and symptoms of Glaucoma

Glaucoma does not typically cause any symptoms initially. It will tend to develop gradually over a number of years and can impact the edges of your vision first (the peripheral). Because of this, many are not realising that they have glaucoma until they have an eye test, which demonstrates the importance of getting an eye test done.

Occasionally, glaucoma can develop very suddenly and cause:

  • Intensive eye pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Red eye
  • Headache
  • Tenderness
  • Noticing rings around certain lights
  • Blurring of vision
 Different types

There are a number of different types of glaucoma, with the most common being open angle glaucoma, which will tend to develop gradually over many years. This is caused by drainage in the eye gradually clogging over a period of time.

Acute angle closure glaucoma – This is an uncommon type of glaucoma caused by the drainage within the eye becoming blocked suddenly, which can also cause a rise in the pressure within the eye quickly.

Secondary glaucoma – This type is caused by an eye condition that is typically underlying, such as uveitis (inflammation of the eye).

Childhood glaucoma (congenital glaucoma) – Rare type of glaucoma that can occur in very young children, typically caused by abnormalities of the eye.

Causes – Glaucoma risk factors

Glaucoma can occur for a number of different reasons, but most of the time it is caused by an extra build-up of pressure within the eye when fluid is simply unable to be properly drained. This substantial increase in pressure damages the optic nerve that connects the brain to the eye.

Risk factors of glaucoma include:

  • Becomes more common the older you get.
  • Those of Caribbean, Asian, or African origin are at a higher risk.
  • Family history. More likely to develop glaucoma if you have a sibling or parent with the condition.
  • Medical conditions. Long-sightedness, short-sightedness, diabetes.

While it’s not possible to reverse vision loss that has occurred previous to a diagnosis of glaucoma, treatment can ultimately help you to stop your vison from getting worse. Recommended treatment can vary depending on the type of glaucoma, but options include:

  • Eyedrops: To reduce pressure in the eye
  • Laser treatment: Opening up blocked drainage tubes or reducing production of fluids within the eye
  • Surgery: Improving the fluid drainage

To book an appointment with Vision Care, click here or give us a call on 01452 410 494 –we would be happy to hear from you!

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