Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and cause vision loss. The most common type is open-angle glaucoma with less common types including closed-angle glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma. Vision loss from glaucoma, once it has occurred, is permanent.

Symptoms

Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly over time and there is no pain. Peripheral vision may begin to decrease followed by central vision resulting in blindness if not treated.

Closed-angle glaucoma can present gradually or suddenly. The sudden presentation may involve severe eye pain, blurred vision, mid-dilated pupil, redness of the eye, and nausea.

Causes

Of the several causes for glaucoma, ocular hypertension (the presence of elevated pressure inside the eye) is the most important risk factor in most glaucomas. Many people of East Asian descent are prone to developing angle closure glaucoma due to shallower anterior chamber depths, with the majority of cases of glaucoma in this population consisting of some form of angle closure.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for glaucoma include increased pressure in the eye, a family history of the condition,trauma and high blood pressure.

Treatment

The modern goals of glaucoma management are to avoid glaucomatous damage and nerve damage, and preserve visual field and total quality of life for patients, with minimal side-effects. This requires appropriate diagnostic techniques and follow-up examinations, and judicious selection of treatments for the individual patient.

Although is only one of the major risk factors for glaucoma, lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) via various pharmaceuticals and/or surgical techniques is currently the mainstay of glaucoma treatment.

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