Glaucoma is serious eye disease that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. It is one of the main causes of blindness in the United States. However, with early detection and treatment, we can often protect our eyes against serious vision loss. The best way to control glaucoma is to have our eyes examined through dilated pupils every year by an Ophthalmologist.
The eye is a closed structure. A clear liquid produced by the eye circulates in the front portion of the eye. This is an internal fluid not to be confused with tears. If the drainage area for the eye is blocked, the excess fluid cannot flow out of the eye. The result is an increase of pressure in the eye.
Increased fluid pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve resulting in Glaucoma. There are two forms of this disease. These are:
Increased fluid pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve. There are two forms of this disease. These are:
The open-angle form has no symptoms in its early stages. With time the optic nerve can become more damaged and blank spots begin to appear in your field of vision. By the time these are noticed, serious damage to the optic nerve may have occurred. If all the optic nerve fibers die, blindness results.
Anyone can develop glaucoma. Some people are at higher risk than others. Risk factors include the following:
A screening that checks only the pressure of the eye is not sufficient. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is needed and can reveal more risk factors, such as high eye pressure, thinness of the cornea, and abnormal optic nerve anatomy. Early detection is the key to protect your vision.
For references and suggested reading:
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