Description of Glaucoma

Definition of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition where the eye is affected. The nerve of vision known as the optic nerve is affected in this condition. Vision materializes because of the proper functioning of this nerve. Damage to the optic nerve causes loss of vision first partially and if not treated can cause total blindness.

The main cause of glaucoma is the increased pressure in the eye known as intraocular pressure. An elevation in the eye pressure leads to damage of the optic nerve. However, sometimes glaucoma can also occur in presence of normal eye pressure. This could be because of the poor blood flow to the optic nerve.

The major types of glaucoma are:
1. Open angle glaucoma
2. Closed angle glaucoma
Causes and Risk Factors of Glaucoma
Glaucoma has no known symptoms and hence it is difficult to diagnose the problem in the early stages. The causes for this condition are mainly attributed to the risk factors. These risk factors mainly include:
1. Age
2. Family history of glaucoma
3. Diabetes
4. History of increased intraocular pressure, eye injury, use of steroids, and conditions like myopia and hyperopia.
Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma
The signs and symptoms include:
1. Severe eye pain
2. Red eye
3. Nausea
4. Vomiting
5. Blurred vision
6. Severe headache
Diagnosis of glaucoma is done by the ophthalmologist by doing a number of tests. All of these tests are noninvasive and painless. 
1. Tonometry is an important test. This test measures the firmness of the tone of the surface of the eye and hence helps in determining the intraocular pressure. The more the firmness in the tone, higher is the intraocular pressure.
2. Pachymetry is another important test done which is used in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma. In this test the thickness of the cornea is measured. Other tests include ophthalmoscopy and visual field testing.
Treatment of Glaucoma
Treatments include:
1. Medication which is mostly in the form of tablets, eye drops, and laser surgery.
2. Eye drops such as timolol, pilocarpine, etc. are the most preferred medication in case of glaucoma. However, in severe cases surgery is recommended.
Content Details
Last updated on:
05 Feb 2018 | 11:44 AM (IST)
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