If you understand glaucoma to be a condition that affects vision, you may be surprised to learn that glaucoma is actually the umbrella term for multiple conditions. There is a group of diseases referred to as glaucoma that cause vision loss by damaging the optic nerve.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is usually caused by high pressure resulting from fluid build up in the front region of the eye. High pressure puts strain on the optic nerve, which is the direct connection between the retina and the brain. While the eye is functioning normally, the brain cannot receive images to process because the optic nerve is damaged. In this way, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for Americans.
Types of Glaucoma
There are many types of glaucoma, and each results from a slightly different series of events that lead up to high pressure in and around the eye. Open-angle glaucoma, for example, happens when the eye gradually becomes less efficient at draining the naturally occurring aqueous fluid around the eye; this is usually caused by simple aging. Narrow-angle glaucoma, on the other hand, happens when the iris blocks the drainage of fluid due to the shape of the eye, and because of genetics. There are several other types, including secondary glaucoma, which is caused by an injury to the eye.
Symptoms and Treatments
Every type of glaucoma will result in slightly different symptoms, which is why it is important to regularly visit your eye doctor in Canton. You may not know that you are already experiencing glaucoma symptoms before they become advanced. Watch for blurry or blind spots in your vision, tunnel vision, headaches, eye pain, halos, and even vomiting and nausea.
The risk factors for glaucoma include being over 60, having diabetes or high blood pressure, having a family history of the disease, and being black, Asian, or Hispanic. Your ophthalmologist in Canton, OH, can offer treatments to help slow vision loss, but glaucoma cannot be reversed. Treatments usually include eye drops, laser surgery, or perhaps even the insertion of small tubes to aid drainage.
Learn More about Glaucoma Treatments
To find out more about glaucoma, and possible treatments that you can pursue, contact us in our Canton, OH office on Mercy Drive Northwest at (330) 489-1441, or through our website here. Any of our staff at Fladen Eye Center can assist you in finding the right information, or in making an appointment to meet with us in person.