What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the eye diseases that can cause blindness due to damaging of the optic nerve by high pressure. The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibres. Optic nerve connects the retina to the brain. In short the optic nerve sends message to the brain for interpretation on what our eyes have seen. A healthy optic nerve is essential for good vision.
What causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the result of high pressure inside the eye. When the liquid in the front part of the eye not circulating the way it should, pressure will increase.
The fluid is known as aqueous humor. It flows out of the eye through a mesh like channel called trabecular meshwork. When the channel gets blocked, the liquid accumulates. That is what causes glaucoma. The reason of blockage is unknown.
But it is believes to be inherited or less common causes are blocked blood vessels inside the eye , severe eye infection or inflammatory conditions.
Glaucoma usually affects both eyes but it may be worse in one than the other.
What are the types of glaucoma?
The two main types of glaucoma:
Open angle Glaucoma or also known as wide angle glaucoma. This is the most common type of glaucoma. The trabecular meshwork seems normal but the fluid does not circulate like it should.
Angle- closure Glaucoma or also known as acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow- angle glaucoma. The fluid is not drained as the angle between the iris and cornea is too narrow. The iris is blocking the way thus causing a sudden build up of pressure in the eye. It can be related to farsightedness or cataract.
What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?
Most people do not show any symptoms. It causes no pain and vision stays normal. It can go unnoticed until late in diseases. That is why glaucoma is commonly know as “ sneak thief of vision”
The first sign is often a loss of peripheral or side vision. If glaucoma left untreated, people may seem to be looking through a tunnel ( tunnel vision) . As time goes, the central vision may deteriorate until no vision remains.
How Glaucoma can be detected?
- Visual acuity test
- Visual field test
- Optic nerve examination
If you have any of the following symptoms:
- Seeing halos around lights
- Vision loss
- Redness in the eye
- Narrowed vision (tunnel vision)
- Eye pain
Please drop by Malaya Optical to get your eye check before it is too late. We care for your eyes!