Glaucoma is an eye condition that contributes to optic nerve damage. Elevated pressure within the eye is the main factor leading glaucoma and optic nerve damage. It happens when the fluid inside your eye flows out of the eye. Treatment involves improving the fluid flow from the eye or lowering its production, or both with the use of eye drops.
What contributes to Glaucoma?
In most cases, glaucoma happens when the fluid inside the eye does not drain out normally. The fluid is referred to as aqueous humour; its build-up leads to increase pressure inside your eye. This elevated pressure damages the optic nerve, causing vision problems and even eyesight loss. It is possible to have glaucoma with eye pressure under normal range. Experts call this normal-tension glaucoma; this could happen if there is poor blood flow to the nerve. Thus, awareness and early detection are essential because this eye condition can usually be successfully treated when diagnosed in early stages. Glaucoma can happen to anyone, but certain people are at much higher risk and need to visit their health care specialist’s place more frequently. The eye condition mostly affects adults over the age of 40 years, but children, young adults, and even infants have this eye problem. Also, African Americans tend to get it along with vision loss more often at a young age. The major risk factors associated with the disease are old age, family history of glaucoma, diabetes, black racial ancestry, eye surgery, myopia, eye injuries, or hypothyroidism.
What kind of Glaucoma one can have?
Glaucoma is mainly of two types of open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Scientists have also discovered other less common types of glaucoma as well. Let’s have a brief look at the kind of glaucoma:
Open-angle glaucoma-It is also called a wide-angle kind and is the most common type of glaucoma. During the condition, the eye fluid doesn’t flow out like it usually does.
Angle-closure glaucoma- Your health care specialist or ophthalmologist may also call this acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. When you have this, your eye fluid doesn’t drain out generally because of the narrowing of the drain space between cornea and iris in the eye. This may contribute to a sudden build-up of pressure inside your eye. Experts also linked the condition to hyperopia (farsightedness) and cataracts.
Other than these, there are two less common types of glaucoma which include:
Secondary glaucoma-this occurs when other health complications, such as diabetes or cataracts, cause elevated eye pressure.
Normal-tension glaucoma- If you develop blind spots in your vision or your eye’s optic nerve got damaged despite having a normal eye pressure. Some eye care experts say it’s a form of open-angle glaucoma.
Treatment options of Glaucoma
Your health care specialist or ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery depending on your condition to lower pressure inside your eye. Eye drops are the most common treatments for glaucoma. Ophthalmologist use several different categories of eye drops to treat the eye condition. They either help to lower the fluid inside the eye or improve the outward flow, or some eye solutions do both. In some cases, the ophthalmologist may also prescribe a combination of eye drops to treat glaucoma. People using these eye drops should get aware fo what they are putting in their eyes. It is best to use an ophthalmic solution under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. The commonly prescribed eye drops is a prostaglandin analogue which helps to reduce eye pressure by increasing the outward flow of fluid (aqueous humour) from the eye. Bimatoprost Careprost is the most widely used synthetic prostaglandin and has the best user compliance because it is required once daily, preferably before bedtime.
When your ophthalmologist suggests eye drops for glaucoma, you must use your medicine regularly. This is because the eye condition does not show symptoms; it can be easy for you to forget taking medicine.
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