Glaucoma: Causes, Type, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Glaucoma: Causes, Type, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Oct 01, 2021

Glaucoma is an eye condition commonly caused by abnormally high eye pressure that damages the optic nerve. Increased pressure inside your eyes erodes the optic nerve tissue causing blindness or vision loss.

It advances gradually and in its advanced state, causes total loss of vision. However, if glaucoma is diagnosed early during regular eye exams, it can be treated appropriately to slow or prevent additional vision loss. It is a hereditary condition and can affect people of any age.

Glaucoma cannot be prevented or cured. However, once detected, the increased glaucoma eye pressure can be returned to normal to slow or stop vision loss. You will require a lifetime of treatment to regulate Intraocular Pressure and help you manage your glaucoma vision.

Causes of Glaucoma Eye Disease

The clear fluid that fills the front part of our eyes is constantly made in the back of our eyes. This fluid is known as aqueous humor and leaves the eye via channels in the cornea and iris. The natural pressure in your eyes, known as the Intraocular Pressure (IOP), is increased when these channels are partially obstructed or blocked.

This high pressure damages the optic nerve and causes gradual loss of sight in one or both eyes. High eye pressure may be caused by dilating eye drops, certain medications, elevated blood pressure, restricted eye drainage, or poor blood flow to your optic nerve.

Types and Symptoms of Glaucoma

The signs and symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type and stage of the eye disease.

  • Open-angle or chronic glaucoma

This type of glaucoma causes gradual loss of vision. If you have this condition, the drain structure in your eye may appear okay, but the aqueous humor does not flow out as it is supposed to. Open-angle glaucoma may exhibit these symptoms:

  • Gradual vision loss
  • Tunnel vision
  • Patchy blind spots in your side or central vision
  • Angle-closure or acute glaucoma

Glaucoma eye disease of this type requires immediate medical attention. It is caused by blockage of the flow of the aqueous humor fluid resulting in rapid buildup. Acute glaucoma causes a quick, severe, and painful increase in pressure. Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency. The patient must be rushed to an eye clinic such as the Glendale eye medical group once the following symptoms are exhibited:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Severe headache
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Halos around lights
  • Normal-tension glaucoma

Normal-tension glaucoma takes place without increased eye pressure. Instead, it may be caused by extreme sensitivity or lack of blood flow to the optic nerve. Limited blood flow may be caused by the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries and other conditions that affect circulation.

  • Congenital glaucoma

It is a type of eye disease that runs in families. There are genes related to high glaucoma eye pressure and damage to the optic nerve. When a child is born with congenital glaucoma, they have a defect in the angle of their eye that prevents or slows the normal drainage of fluid.

Some of the symptoms are:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Secondary glaucoma

This occurs as a result of added pressure in the eye due to other conditions. For example, it may be caused by medications such as corticosteroids, diabetes, or an injury’s side effect. In addition, eye conditions such as eye tumors and cataracts may also result in secondary glaucoma.

  • Who Is At Risk Of Glaucoma?

The risk factors of this condition include:

  • Individuals over sixty years of age
  • Patients who use medications such as corticosteroids for a long time
  • Those who suffer from various eye problems such as chronic eye inflammation, thin corneas, or eye trauma
  • Individuals with high blood pressure or heart disease have an increased risk of developing glaucoma
  • People who have a history of glaucoma in their families

You can lower the risks for eye damage due to glaucoma by:

  • Having regular eye exams
  • Exercising moderately
  • Protecting your eyes from trauma
  • Learning your family history and beginning treatment early

Make an appointment with our optometrist and ophthalmologist in Glendale Eye Medical Group for high-quality eye care. Apart from providing treatment for glaucoma, we offer a wide range of services, including cataract surgery, cosmetic eyelid surgery, and LASIK vision correction.

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