Glaucoma is an eye disease characterized by an increase in eye pressure
that causes damage to the optic nerve resulting in the loss of vision.
Because this vision loss is irreversible, it is important to diagnose
glaucoma as early as possible.
Causes: The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown, though it does appear to be hereditary.
The loss of vision is a result of the buildup of aqueous humor, a fluid
naturally found in the eye, which normally leaves the eye through a drainage
system at the angle where the iris and cornea meet (known as the drainage
angle). The buildup of aqueous humor causes eye pressure to increase,
and the increased pressure causes damage to the optic nerve. The reason
why the drainage system fails is often unclear.
There are some secondary causes of increased eye pressure, including eye
injury, inflammation of the eye, abnormal blood vessel formation from
diabetes or retinal blood vessel blockage, and the use of steroid-containing
Symptoms: In the two most common types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle
glaucoma, the symptoms are very different. People suffering from open-angle
glaucoma often experience a gradual loss of peripheral vision, usually
in both eyes, and if left untreated, they develop tunnel vision. People
who develop closed-angle glaucoma tend to experience sudden severe eye
pain and brow pain, nausea and vomiting, the sudden onset of visual disturbances,
blurred vision, halos around lights, and reddening of the eye. Thesymptoms
of closed-angle glaucoma indicate a medical emergency, and you should
seek treatment right away.
If you believe that you are experiencing any symptoms that might be related
to glaucoma, talk to your eye care provider right away.
Key-Whitman Eye Center, a leader in LASIK and Cataract surgery in Dallas, Fort Worth, and North
Texas employs fellowship-trained glaucoma specialists who would love to
answer any questions that you might have.
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