Glaucoma is an eye condition that can be caused by increased pressure from the fluid inside the eye. This pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve. In a healthy eye, this fluid flows out of the eye through a mesh-like path. If this path is blocked, or does not allow good drainage of the fluid, pressure builds up, causing glaucoma. In the early stages of the disease, there may be no symptoms. Experts estimate that half of the people affected by glaucoma may not know they have it.
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable with over a million wires. It is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure persists, glaucoma will worsen your sight. When left untreated, glaucoma can cause loss of sight in just a few years. Glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes, but it may involve each eye to a different extent.
What Are The Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
The following are symptoms of glaucoma, which often go unnoticed until an advanced stage of the disease.
- Vision loss
- Seeing halos around lights
- Narrowing of vision (tunnel vision)
- Eye that looks hazy
- Nausea or vomiting
- Pain in the eye
How Is Glaucoma Treated?
There is no cure for glaucoma—yet. However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss. The appropriate treatment depends upon the type of glaucoma among other factors. Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease. Damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible but studies suggest that for most people, lowering eye pressure slows the advance of glaucoma and prevents further vision loss. For this reason, glaucoma treatments focus on lowering eye pressure. This can be done through the use of medication drops, laser procedures like selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), or cataract surgery combined with endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP).
Talk to your doctor to find out which glaucoma treatment is right for you.