What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve usually due to excessively high intraocular pressure (IOP). The increase of pressure within the eye, if untreated can lead to optic nerve damage resulting in progressive, permanent vision loss. Starting with unnoticeable blind spots at the edges of the field of vision, it can progress to tunnel vision and then to blindness.

There are several types of glaucoma, the most prevalent being open angle glaucoma, followed by closed angle and normal tension glaucoma.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma where the fluid in the eye is blocked from draining effectively through the tiny channels, known as the trabecular meshwork. The pressure in the eye increases as the fluid in the eye continues to build. Loss of vision occurs gradually and the vision loss is not always noticed until it becomes irreversible.

Closed (Narrow)-Angle Glaucoma

Closed (Narrow) Angle Glaucoma is caused by contact between the iris and trabecular meshwork, which in turn obstructs outflow of the aqueous humor from the eye. This contact between iris and the trabecular meshwork causes the pressure to rise. In some cases pressure may rapidly build up in the eye causing pain and redness (symptomatic, or so-called “acute” angle closure). In this situation the vision may become blurred and halos may be seen around bright lights. Accompanying symptoms may include severe headache and vomiting.

Glaucoma drops and/or surgical procedures may be required to reduce the intraocular pressure of the eye. VICTORIA EYE Ophthalmologists are proficient in the diagnosis, management and prevention of Glaucoma.

Learn more about YAG Laser peripheral iridotomy, a preventative laser procedure done at VICTORIA EYE.

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