Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause severe vision damage by impairing the optic nerve. Your eye’s optic nerve serves the purpose of transferring information from your eyes to your brain. The development of glaucoma damages your optic nerve, and you can start losing patches of your vision. If the condition is untreated, you may have complete vision loss.
There are different types of glaucoma. These include:
Open-angle glaucoma remains the most common type of glaucoma, affecting a large percentage of Americans. It develops when minute deposits build up and clog the drainage canals of your eye.
Your eye canals may appear normal and functional, but as the deposit builds up over time, the accumulation causes pressure on your optic nerve. Most people with this glaucoma do not have symptoms because the disease can go unnoticed for many years.
A rare type that can occur abruptly and develops when the angle connecting your iris and cornea is very narrow. Consequently, the drainage canals get blocked and prevent aqueous fluid from leaving your eye, causing a sudden rise in eye pressure. Closed-angle glaucoma has acute symptoms such as headaches and eye pain.
Experts are not able to find the cause of normal-tension glaucoma. One in three people have their optic nerve damaged even if their eye pressure is normal or not high.
Babies can be born with glaucoma. Some babies do not develop proper drainage canals while in the womb. Your doctor can notice glaucoma signs in a bay during childbirth or as the baby grows. The condition is also known as pediatric, childhood, or infantile glaucoma.
Glaucoma develops when the aqueous humor, the fluid inside the eye, gets trapped inside your eye because of blockage of the channel it uses to flow out. A buildup of the aqueous humor causes pressure inside your eye that leads to glaucoma.
Glaucoma has other causes that are less common such as blocked blood vessels in the eye, a chemical or blunt injury, eye infection, or other inflammatory conditions.
The symptoms vary depending on the type of glaucoma. The signs and symptoms are progressive and can be easy to miss. Most people with open-angle glaucoma do not show any symptoms early on. Closed-angle glaucoma has severe symptoms that can come abruptly.
With any type, you can experience symptoms like:
Eye pressure or pain
Halos with rainbow colors around light
Blurred vision, low vision, and blind spots
Glaucoma treatments are only able to preserve the remaining vision. Treatment cannot improve or reverse vision loss that has already occurred. It is crucial to go for regular eye exams and if you experience any symptoms such as vision problems, severe headaches, or eye pain, see your doctor immediately.
Your doctor decides what treatment suits you based on the severity of the condition. The doctor can prescribe eyedrop medication, laser treatment, or surgery.
Eyedrops increase drainage by decreasing fluid, and this, in turn, alleviates pressure in the affected eye. Laser treatments also improve your eye’s fluid drainage. Surgery is a more invasive method of treatment. However, it produces better and faster results compared to eye drops and laser treatment.
For more on glaucoma and vision loss, contact Sacramento Eye Consultants at our office in Sacramento or Lincoln, California. You can call (916) 915-0300 today to schedule an appointment.