Know Glaucoma

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease which involves the optic nerve, which is responsible for sending visual signals to the brain for s to be able to see and object. If the optic nerve is damaged the brain can not receive signals from eye which are sent (via optic nerve). Glaucoma is slowly progressive optic neuropathy, most commonly due to raised intraocular pressure. In other words glaucoma is actually (not always) a syndrome due to raised intraocular pressure. Normally the intraocular pressure is 12-21 mm of mercury. If the intraocular pressure is raised above 21 mm of mercury, it can lead to damage to optic nerve (which is considered glaucoma).

What are the types of glaucoma?

Glaucoma is of two types, open angle glaucoma and close angle (or angle closure) glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma is the commonest form and account for majority of cases of glaucoma. The treatment of open angle glaucoma is mainly medical management and that of angle closure glaucoma is surgical.

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Symptoms of glaucoma may vary from asymptomatic to severe pain in the eyes, depending on the type of glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma is painless to start with and sometimes noticed by the patients only when visual problems appear. Angle closure glaucoma is generally symptomatic and produces severe pain in the eyes de to sudden blockage of draining system of eye and sudden and high rise in intraocular pressure. As glaucoma is mostly asymptomatic, regular eye check-ups is the only answer to detect glaucoma early and manage appropriately.

Diagnosis of glaucoma:

For diagnosis of glaucoma consult your eye doctor (ophthalmologist). Your doctor will determine if you have glaucoma and what type of glaucoma you have. Your doctor will check your eyes for intraocular pressure; visualize optic nerve for any damage that might have already occurred.

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