27 Mar Glaucoma: Causes and Treatments
Glaucoma is a gradual worsening of the optic nerve condition that consequently reduces an individual’s vision until they go completely blind. If this sounds scary, it isn’t meant to. Though glaucoma was once a genuine threat to those afflicted, it is much less intimidating now as a result of modern medical solutions.
What is glaucoma and what causes it?
Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve. It is the optic nerve’s job to translate images from the eye into images that the brain can understand and interpret.
Glaucoma is caused by intraocular pressure from poor fluid circulation in the eyes. This fluid, aqueous humor, flows out of a normally functioning eye through a mesh channel. If this channel is obstructed, the fluid has nowhere to flow and thusly starts to build up. Over time, as intraocular pressure increases, your vision becomes more and more blocked. This ends in darkness.
There are a number of treatments that can work well depending on how far along you are in vision loss.
- Eye Drops
Eye drops are mostly given to individuals in the very early stages of glaucoma as a non-invasive treatment option. They are designed to either increase drainage from the eye or decrease aqueous humor production.
This is a classic surgery that involves microincisions that create a new drainage channel. These surgeries can fail to take, or cause blindness themselves.
- Laser Eye Surgery
Using lasers, eye surgeons can either open the drainage area, create a very small hole in the iris to assist with the liquid flow, or lower fluid production entirely.
Laser eye surgery is the most effective method glaucoma treatment. It has a very high success rate and only takes 10 minutes for each eye to perform.
If you are at risk of developing glaucoma because of your family history or environmental conditions, or you have simply been having vision problems lately, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Glaucoma is no joke, but with modern treatment, you will most likely be absolutely fine and suffer no permanent damage.