Glaucoma is an eye disorder which damages your eye’s optic nerve due to increased pressure. It is common in older people and if left untreated it can cause loss of vision. It usually causes no pain and is only noticeable when there is a change/loss of vision. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. If a person has glaucoma, he/she will need treatment for the rest of their life.
Types and their symptoms
The symptoms of glaucoma depends on its types. The basic 2 types of glaucoma are-
- Open angle Glaucoma- The most common form of the disease. In this type the angle where the iris meets the cornea is open but the tissue area around the cornea is blocked which causes pressure.Symptoms may include:
● Blind spots in your side or central vision, frequently in both eyes.
● Reduced vision and loss of peripheral vision
● Swollen or bulging cornea, redness in the white of the eye and nausea.
● Pupil dilation to a medium size that doesn’t change with increasing or decreasing light
2. Closed angle Glaucoma- Also known as angle closure glaucoma occurs when the iris bulges forward to block the angle where the cornea meets the iris. As a result, fluid can't circulate and the eye pressure increases. Symptoms may include-
● Severe eye pain and headache
● Nausea and vomiting
● Blurred vision or hazy vision
● Profuse tearing
● Redness in the white part of the affected eye
The opthamologist usually takes a series of tests to confirm the stage and type of glaucoma. These tests include:
● Tonometry test (To measuring intraocular pressure)
● Pachymetry Test (To measuring corneal thickness)
● Perimetry Test (To measure the eyesight)
● Ophthalmoscopy (To see inside the fundus of an eye)
● Gonioscopy (To examine the drainage angle)
The damage caused by glaucoma can’t be reversed but it can slow or prevent vision loss through regular checkups and treatment if you catch it at an early stage.
Depending on your condition it may include prescription eye drops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery (Filtering surgery, Laser surgery, Drainage implant) or a combination of these.