Causes and Symptoms of Glaucoma

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 7-Jul-2011

Glauc3Glaucoma 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 medications.

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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Categories: Eye Conditions, Glaucoma
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