Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases usually due to intraocular hypertension (increased pressure in the eye) due to the building- up of aqueous humor. The increased pressure damages the optic nerve, which is a nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. If treatment is not done, it can even lead to blindness.
The fluid inside our eye is called aqueous humor. It usually flows out of our eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel gets blocked or the eye produces too much fluid, the liquid builds up, causing the eye pressure to increase. Sometimes the cause of the blockage is unknown; It may be inherited, which means passed from parents to children. Less commonly because of trauma, chemical injury, severe eye infection, blocked blood vessels inside the eye, or rarely in some cases due to eye surgery
Following are the causes of glaucoma;
Associated with congenital abnormalities such as
Among the several types of glaucoma, the main three categories are;
Following are the risk factors of glaucoma:
Glaucoma is considered one of the most common causes of irreversible blindness in the United States. It often affects adults over 40, but young adults, children, and even infants can be affected. More than 3 million Americans have glaucoma. It is estimated that by 2050, that number may rise to 6.3 million.
Open-angle glaucoma develops gradually over time, so you may not feel significant symptoms except gradual vision loss. Since it has no warning signs, the condition may not be noticed until later in the advanced stages. You must consult your ophthalmologist if you have risk factors for glaucoma and monitor changes in your vision.
In the case of Acute angle-closure glaucoma, you may have;
Several other conditions can present as glaucoma like;
Your physician will ask you questions regarding your symptoms and examine you with special emphasis on head and eye examination to make the diagnosis. Following investigations may help in confirming the diagnosis;
Glaucoma is not curable, but it can be slowed down with treatment. If the underlying issue is intraocular hypertension, it can be managed by taking medication to lower pressure in the eye either by decreasing the production of aqueous humor (with medications such as beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors ) or by increasing the outflow of aqueous humor (by taking prostaglandin analogs) or by taking medication that does both (such as alpha-adrenergic agonists). Morphine is given as a sedative and pain killer. Other medications include:
In addition to medications, laser treatments are also available for example,
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 19, 2023.
Cureus | Epidemiology of Glaucoma: The Past, Present, and Predictions for the Future | Article
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma - PMC (nih.gov)