The term “glaucoma” is used to describe a variety of eye condition that harm your optic nerve. It is the most typical type of optic nerve injury that cause visual loss. Patients who suffer optic nerve impairment as a result of fluid buildup in their eyes. This eye pressure can permanently impair eyesight if it is not treated. The second most common cause of blindness worldwide is the injury. Eye drops, laser surgery, and other therapies can stop vision loss in its tracks and preserve your sight.
How prevalent is Glaucoma?
An estimated 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma, a common age-related eye condition. It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, right after cataract.
Types of Glaucoma
There are various forms of glaucoma, such as:
Up to 90% of Americans with glaucoma have this kind, making it the most prevalent. It happen when your eye’s drainage channels become block with resistance. Your drainage systems seem to be operating normally and to be open.
This uncommon form of glaucoma, also known as angle-closure or narrow-angle, frequently manifest when acute. When the angle between your iris and cornea is too small, it happen. It might take place if your pupil changes and dilate too quickly. This restrict the flow of aqueous fluid out of your eye and obstruct your drainage canals, increasing eye pressure.
Even in cases where eye pressure is normal or not too high, up to 1 in 3 people experience optic nerve injury. About what cause normal-tension glaucoma, expert are unsure. This form is also known as low-tension or normal-tension glaucoma. Asian Americans or people of Asian heritage are more likely to experience this sort.
Some newborns are born with improperly form drainage tubes from the womb. Your baby’s glaucoma symptoms may be visible to your doctor from birth or symptoms may emerge in childhood.
How is Glaucoma identified?
An eye doctor may do one or more of these painless test to check for it:
Exam with dilated pupils: to visualise the optic nerve at the back of the eyes.
OCT (optical coherence tomography): to check for alterations in your optic nerve that could signify it.
Ocular pressure test (tonometry): to quantify eye pressure.
Pachymetry: determining the thickness of the cornea.
Slit-lamp examination: using a specialise microscope known as a slit lamp, to look inside your eye.
Eye charts for the visual acuity test: to assess for vision loss.
Perimetry visual field test: to assess changes in peripheral vision (your ability to see things off to the side)
Glaucoma that is left, can hasten the onset of blindness or permanent vision loss. Treatments can halt further visual loss. But they are unable to regain lost vision. If you get severe headaches, eye pain, or both, you should consult an eye doctor straight soon.
Medications for glaucoma
It can be done with a variety of prescription eye drops. Some people enhance drainage while decreasing fluids to lower ocular pressure.
The medication bimatoprost, which was previously only available as eye drops, has receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new delivery method. You can now have an implant that last for several months before dissolving. You can only currently have it insert once in each eye.
Treatment for glaucoma with lasers
A laser, which emit a powerful beam of light, is use by your eye specialist to enhance fluid outflow from your eye. Your doctor might advise using lasers as a first-line treatment in place of or in addition to eye drops.
Another method to lower ocular pressure is surgery. Compare to drops or lasers, it is more invasive. But also more quickly lead to improve ocular pressure control.
Although there is no known treatment for the injury, there are ways to manage eye pressure and avoid visual loss. Eye exams can detect the illness early and help you retain your vision. Ask your eye doctor how frequently you need screenings if you have a high risk of developing glaucoma. It’s crucial to apply daily eye drops, if you have it.