What is Glaucoma and its Causes?

What is Glaucoma and its Causes?

Have you ever heard about Glaucoma? It is a condition of your eyes where the optic nerve of your eye may have been damaged. Over a period of time, its condition may worsen further. A kind of pressure is built-up inside your eye. Often the problem of glaucoma runs in the family and usually you may get at a later age.

Your optic nerve may get damaged due to increased pressure in the eye, which is called intraocular pressure and can damage the optic nerve that sends images to the brain. In the worst case, glaucoma can damage your vision permanently or can make you totally blind within few years.

Usually, there are no early signs or pain observed for glaucoma and therefore, at old age, it is necessary to visit any eye specialist regularly before such condition occurs. Once you lose your vision, it will never come back.

However, by lowering your eye pressure, you can help retaining your sight. People who have glaucoma can retain their vision by following proper treatment plan with regular eye check-up.

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What causes glaucoma?

Although, eye specialists are not fully sure about the exact reasons for glaucoma, but these cases are normally divided into 2 categories:

  • Primary glaucoma – This means its cause is not known.
  • Secondary glaucoma – When it is diagnosed as secondary glaucoma then this condition has known cause, like tumour, diabetes, inflammation or an advanced cataract.

For glaucoma usually there are a number of risk factors:

  • Old age.
  • Your ethnic background – People from East Asians countries, African Americans, and also those having Hispanic descent can get higher chances of developing glaucoma, as compared with Caucasians.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Certain illnesses and conditions – Such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
  • Myopia
  • Eye surgery.

Also, patients who are on corticosteroids for a longer duration have a greater risk of developing glaucoma. Even those who use eye drops with corticosteroids also have a chance of developing this problem.

Different types of glaucoma

Usually, you can find 2 main kinds of glaucoma:

  1. Open-angle glaucoma

Doctors often call it as wide-angle glaucoma. Drain structure of your eye may appear to be fine, but no fluid flows out that normally should flow.

  1. Angle-closure glaucoma

Mostly, this kind of glaucoma is found among Asians. Your eye will not drain like normally it should, as drain space between the iris and cornea will become too narrow.

Due to this reason, suddenly pressure in the eye may build up. It is also linked to cataracts and farsightedness, a clouding of your lens within your eye.

Few less common glaucoma types are:

  1. Secondary glaucoma

In some other condition, such as cataracts or diabetes, it will add pressure in the eye.

  1. Normal-tension glaucoma

When you have certain blind spots present in your vision. Also, if your optic nerve gets damaged, though eye pressure remains within average range.

  1. Pigmentary glaucoma

In this form of glaucoma, tiny pigment bits from your iris, coloured part of eye, get fluid inside eye and clog your drainage canals.