Glaucoma

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What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve and if untreated leads to blindness.

What are the causes of glaucoma?

Increase in intraocular pressure(IOP) is the main cause of this eye disease.The significant risk factor for developing glaucoma is when IOP exceeds 22mmHg.While One person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, another person may have IOP for years and yet never be affected.What triggers glaucoma is not known.Low blood pressure is suspected to trigger it due to less blood supply to the nerve or other blood circulation problems.

What is IOP glaucoma and how does it affect the vision?

To understand IOP glaucoma we should know about the watery fluid present in our eyes.Our eye ball is filled with a watery fluid and this fluid exerts pressure on the eye.To keep the pressure within safe limits,certain amount of fluid gets drained through drainage channels provided for this purpose.When the fluid is unable to drain through the drainage system,the fluid pressure starts to increase in the eye.This increased intraocular pressure is called IOP which destroys the optic nerve cells and if not treated in time, the peripheral vision goes first and then as more nerve cells die,it may lead to total blindness.

What are the types of glaucoma?

There are two types of Glaucoma, "open angle" or chronic Glaucoma and "closed angle" or acute glaucoma.Closed angle glaucoma or acute glaucoma appears suddenly and is often accompanied with painful side effects and so is usually diagnosed quickly, although damage and loss of vision can also occur very suddenly. Open angle glaucoma or chronic glaucoma on the other hand progresses slowly, hence the patient may not notice it until the disease reaches the advanced stage.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Absolutely none.There are no symptoms till you have peripheral vision damage(peripheral vision is what you see through the corners of eyes) and undergo tests to be diagnosed with glaucoma.

What is open angle glaucoma and what are the treatments?

About 90% of all glaucoma cases fall in this category.This type of glaucoma occurs when the mesh work in the eye gets partially blocked and the fluid gets drained slower than it is produced.Since the outflow is less than the inflow of fluid,pressure starts to build up slowly.This condition may persist for years without being noticed.To cure glaucoma of this type you have to consult an eye doctor and to undergo eye tests as recommended by him.Generally eye drops which reduce IOP are administered and is to be taken during your remaining life span.

What is closed angle glaucoma and what are it's treatments?

If you have severe pain in eyes accompanied by nausea,vomiting and blurred vision you may have closed angle glaucoma which should be treated immediately.In this type of glaucoma IOP increases suddenly due reasons such as stress,usage of drugs like anti depressants etc..If IOP is not brought down immediately you may lose vision within a few hours.The treatment is to reduce IOP by either drugs or laser treatment.

What are the steps to be taken by glaucoma patients?

Avoid IOP boosting drinks such as coffee.Exercise regularly since it is found to reduce IOP.

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