Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that eventually lead to vision loss and blindness. It has no symptoms, so it can only be diagnosed with the help of some special tests. Before going into further details, let’s check out some facts:
1. 10% of all the people who get Glaucoma treatment, unfortunately, still end up with vision loss and blindness.
2. This disease can only be treated if detected in the initial stages. Otherwise, there is no cure for Glaucoma.
3. People of all ages are at risk, from babies to senior citizens, although older people are more likely to be affected by the disease.
4. Glaucoma cannot be detected without an eye examination, because it has no symptoms. This is why it is among the leading causes of blindness.
There are several types of Glaucoma and these are the main ones:
This is the most common form of Glaucoma with 90% of all Glaucoma cases suffering from this type. It is mainly caused by the slow blocking of the drainage canals from the eye, which results in increased eye pressure (intraocular pressure). People suffering from this particular type of Glaucoma have an ‘open-angle’ between the cornea and iris – this type of Glaucoma develops slowly.
Angle Closure Glaucoma
This particular type of Glaucoma is not very common and is caused by blocked drainage canals, which eventually results in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. It develops very quickly and has a narrow angle between the cornea and iris. The symptoms of Angle Closure Glaucoma and the damage it causes are quickly noticeable and needs immediate medical attention.
Normal Tension Glaucoma
Normal Tension Glaucoma (NTG) is also known as ‘Normal-Pressure Glaucoma’ or ‘Low-Tension Glaucoma’. With this type of Glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged even though the pressure in the eye is not very high. It’s the only type of Glaucoma in which damage occurs to the optic nerve whilst intraocular pressure remains normal and, unfortunately, the causes are still unknown.
Even with such an ambiguous type of Glaucoma, treatment for Normal-Tension Glaucoma includes reducing the eye pressure to as low a level as possible with the help of medicine, laser treatment or surgery.
Congenital Glaucoma is an inherited condition that only occurs in babies, as it is the result of the incomplete or incorrect development of eye drainage canals. It mostly occurs in the prenatal period, when an embryo and (later) fetus is developing during pregnancy. In these cases, microsurgery can be helpful to treat the structural defects. Not all Congenital Glaucoma cases need microsurgery as some patients can also be treated with medication.
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