Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, which is the specialized light sensing tissue, to the brain so we can see. When a significant number of nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots develop in the field of vision causing permanent visual loss. Most people don't notice these blind areas until much of the optic nerve damage has already occurred. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the world, especially in older people. Early detection and immediate treatment is the only way to prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss from glaucoma.
The exact cause of optic nerve damage from glaucoma is not fully understood, but it involves mechanical compression and/or decreased blood flow of the optic nerve. Although high eye pressure sometimes leads to glaucoma, many people can also develop glaucoma with normal eye pressure.
Chronic open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. The ‘open’ drainage angle of the eye gets blocked leading to gradual increase in eye pressure. If this increased pressure results in optic nerve damage, it is known as chronic open-angle glaucoma. The optic nerve damage and vision loss usually occurs so gradually and painlessly that you are not aware of trouble until the optic nerve is already badly damaged.
Angle-closure glaucoma results when the drainage angle of the eye narrows until completely blocked. In the eye, the iris may close off the drainage angle and cause a dangerously high eye pressure. When the drainage angle of the eye suddenly becomes completely blocked, pressure builds up rapidly, and this is called acute angle-closure glaucoma. The symptoms include severe eye pain, blurred vision, headache, rainbow haloes around lights, nausea and vomiting. This form of glaucoma occurs more frequently in people of African and Asian ancestry, and in certain eye conditions.
Drops can sometimes cause:
Pills sometimes cause:
Regular medical eye exams may help prevent unnecessary vision loss.
You should have an examination: