A glaucoma is a group of eye disorders due to loss of cells which are present in the retina and affection of the optic nerve which is the nerve supplying the eye caused by raised pressure in the eye. Untreated Glaucoma can lead to permanent damage to the optic nerve and loss of visual field where a person cannot see beyond a particular angle. Glaucoma is the third most common cause of blindness worldwide.
It is usually without symptoms, hence it is important to go for regular eye check-ups after the age of forty years.
Symptoms can include patchy loss of peripheral vision, reduced clarity of colors, pain in or around the eyeball, nausea or vomiting and visual disturbances like halos around lights.
Glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve. As this nerve gradually deteriorates, blind spots develop in your visual field. For reasons that doctors don't fully understand, this nerve damage is usually related to increased pressure in the eye.
Elevated eye pressure is due to a buildup of a fluid (aqueous humor) that flows throughout the inside of your eye. This internal fluid normally drains out through a tissue called the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. When fluid is overproduced or the drainage system doesn't work properly, the fluid can't flow out at its normal rate and eye pressure increases.
Glaucoma tends to run in families. In some people, scientists have identified genes related to high eye pressure and optic nerve damage.
Open-angle glaucoma : Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease. The drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris remains open, but the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. This causes pressure in the eye to gradually increase. This pressure damages the optic nerve. It happens so slowly that you may lose vision before you're even aware of a problem.
Angle-closure glaucoma : Angle-closure glaucoma, also called closed-angle glaucoma, occurs when the iris bulges forward to narrow or block the drainage angle formed by the cornea and iris. As a result, fluid can't circulate through the eye and pressure increases. Some people have narrow drainage angles, putting them at increased risk of angle-closure glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma may occur suddenly (acute angle-closure glaucoma) or gradually (chronic angle-closure glaucoma). Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency.
Normal-tension glaucoma : In normal-tension glaucoma, your optic nerve becomes damaged even though your eye pressure is within the normal range. No one knows the exact reason for this. You may have a sensitive optic nerve, or you may have less blood being supplied to your optic nerve. This limited blood flow could be caused by atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in the arteries — or other conditions that impair circulation.
Glaucoma in children : It's possible for infants and children to have glaucoma. It may be present from birth or develop in the first few years of life. The optic nerve damage may be caused by drainage blockages or an underlying medical condition.
Pigmentary glaucoma : In pigmentary glaucoma, pigment granules from your iris build up in the drainage channels, slowing or blocking fluid exiting your eye. Activities such as jogging sometimes stir up the pigment granules, depositing them on the trabecular meshwork and causing intermittent pressure elevations.
Because chronic forms of glaucoma can destroy vision before any signs or symptoms are apparent, be aware of these risk factors:
Reducing the pressure in the eye by medical or surgical means is the way of treating glaucoma. Usually, eye drops are prescribed for reduction of eye drops.
Homeopathy can lower the progression of the disease and in highly susceptible people can prevent the occurrence or prolong the onset of disease.
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