Glaucoma causes high pressure inside the eye which damages the optic nerve. The effect is comparable to how high blood pressure damages the cardiovascular system. In its early stages the nerve damage may not affect sight, but as the condition progresses peripheral vision will deteriorate, resulting in tunnel vision. Eventually central vision can be affected, leading to severe visual loss and even blindness.
Some or all of the following tests might be required for a glaucoma diagnosis:
To date there is no known cure for glaucoma. Nonetheless, eye health research has led to an exponential increase in highly effective treatment options for glaucoma patients. This allows for a more tailored approach for individuals and offers alternatives when a patient doesn’t respond to an initial treatment.
The eye has a pump generating clear fluid inside the eye and a drain to remove it. The pump and drain should work in balance to keep the pressure inside the eye level. In primary open angle glaucoma there is a mismatch between these functions. This mismatch causes the pressure in the eye to increase. Over time this raised pressure damages the optic nerve and affects vision.
Treatments for this type of glaucoma include eyedrops, laser therapy, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS), micro-stents and filtering surgery.
The eye has a pump that makes the clear fluid inside the eye and a drain that drains it away. There is a pathway that this fluid must pass along for the process to remain in balance.
In primary angle closure glaucoma the pathway between the pump and the drain becomes blocked which can lead to an aggressive and rapidly blinding condition called primary angle closure crisis or acute angle closure.
Laser treatment and lens extraction and replacement surgery can be extremely effective at controlling and even curing the condition. It is rare to need eye drops for this type of glaucoma.
This content has been medically reviewed by Dr Geoffrey Ryan and is for information purposes only. Consult a medical professional for advice.
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