We put a lot of trust in our eyes. They keep us out of danger, observe the beauty and wonders of the world, and serve as a window into our personalities. But what happens when the pressure on our eyes gets too great?
Glaucoma is a disorder in which the optic nerve is pushed beyond its limits, suffering irreparable harm and loss of vision. These damages can never be reversed, but they can be prevented and slowed as much as medically possible. Awareness is your greatest weapon against this threat to your precious eyesight.
In a healthy eyeball, a fluid called aqueous humor flows between the lens and the cornea. This acts as a filtration system, of sorts, and must maintain a healthy balance in order to sustain optimal functionality. However, when the aqueous humor fails to drain properly, it builds up pressure and causes complications. This is the definition of glaucoma.
The longer the disorder rages on, the worse it ravages your health. Understanding your risks and addressing your situation can help stave off the worst ramifications of glaucoma.
Types of Glaucoma
While glaucoma is defined generally as a build up of pressure in the eyeball, there are various ways in which this can occur.
- OPEN ANGLE – This phenomenon occurs when the angle between the iris and cornea stays open, but the fluid flowing between the two gets trapped by your trabecular meshwork (the tissue lining the angle of connection). It is the most common form of glaucoma and happens so gradually that vision loss can occur before you are aware of any problem.
- CLOSED ANGLE – If the iris bulges forward, it can close the angle of drainage between itself and the cornea. Acute angle closure can be caused by sudden pupil dilation and it is a medical emergency; see a doctor immediately.
- NORMAL TENSION – If your aqueous humor flows normally, you can still suffer from glaucoma if your optic nerve fails to get the blood supply it needs. This can be caused by an excess of fatty deposits in your arteries and gets worse over time.
- PIGMENTARY GLAUCOMA – Overexertion can release a flood of pigment granules from your iris which then get trapped in your trabecular meshwork, thus causing a blockage between the iris and cornea.
Patients who suffer from open-angle glaucoma report instances of tunnel vision and patches of vision loss in their periphery. Do not ignore these glaucoma symptoms. Routine eye exams can determine if you are experiencing the early stages of glaucoma. Ophthalmologists recommend glaucoma screenings every four years for individuals 40 years and over, then every two years for those 65 and up. The two-year rule also applies to those genetically predisposed to glaucoma risk factors. Know your family history; know your risks.
Angle closure induced glaucoma is a more pressing matter. Glaucoma symptoms include headaches, nausea, blurry vision and seeing halos around light sources. Consult a doctor immediately if you believe you are experiencing these issues.
The bad news: once glaucoma has set in, its damage can’t be reversed. The good news: the spread of glaucoma can be drastically slowed through treatments such as eye drops, medications, drainage, and other surgical means. Early testing is the best way to prevent the disease from ravaging your eyesight, so check for the warning signs and contact a physician with any and all concerns.
When glaucoma is ignored, it inevitably leads to blindness. Even among those patients who seek medical help, blindness in at least one eye will occur within 20 years of the disease’s onset. Don’t be a statistic; get ahead of glaucoma before it gets the best of you.
For vision that you have to see to believe and more about cataract surgery in Orange County, contact Advanced Eye Medical today!