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Glaucoma. Barrow, Brantley, Fredde, Gillispie. What is Glaucoma?.

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Barrow, Brantley, Fredde, Gillispie

what is glaucoma
What is Glaucoma?
  • Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is connected to the retina. It is made up of many nerve fibers and sends impulses from the retina to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve occurs when the fluid pressure from the aqueous humor does not flow properly. It builds up over time and damages the optic nerve. It can cause blindness if left untreated. Most people do not know they have it as the disease just gradually takes away your sight. It is a pathologic condition which means it’s caused by a disease or abnormal function. It can also be congenital.

In a normal eye, the fluid would drain. However, with glaucoma, it does not drain and causes the pressure to build up. As the pressure builds up, damage is done to the optic nerve.

other causes of glaucoma
Other Causes of Glaucoma
  • *Eye injury
  • *Inflammation of the eye
  • *Steroid containing medicines
  • *Abnormal blood vessel formation due to diabetes
  • *Retinal blood vessel blockage
glaucoma symptoms
Glaucoma Symptoms
  • In the beginning, there are no obvious signs. As the disease progresses and damage is done to the optic nerve, you will notice blind spots in your peripheral vision. Sometimes the blind spots aren’t noticed until there has been severe damage or until an ophthalmologist diagnoses it. Some people have normal pressure but may still have blind spots in their field of vision and have optic nerve damage.
  • Other symptoms include:

*Severe eye or brow pain *Headache

*Redness of the eye *Nausea

*Blurred or decreased vision *Vomiting

*Seeing colored halos or rainbows

types of glaucoma
Types of Glaucoma
  • There are several types of glaucoma but the two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. Both of these are due to pressure inside the eye or intraocular pressure.
  • Other types of glaucoma are:

*Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG) *Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma

*Congenital Glaucoma *Traumatic Glaucoma

*Secondary Glaucoma *Neovascular Glaucoma

*Pigmentary Glaucoma *Irido Corneal Enthothelial Syndrome (ICE)

open angle glaucoma
Open Angle Glaucoma
  • *Most common form of glaucoma in our country. Approximately 1% of all Americans have this form.
  • * Patients usually have no symptoms until they notice problems with their vision. By this time, the damage to the optic nerve has already been done and can’t be reversed.
  • *This form normally occurs in people over 50.
  • *People at risk for this are those whose parents or siblings have the disease, African-Americans, Latinos, those with diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
  • *Regular eye exams can help detect it early and help prevent damage.
angle closure glaucoma
Angle-Closure Glaucoma
  • *Less common form caused by drainage canals being blocked causing a rise in intraocular pressure
  • * Develops quickly
  • * The symptoms and damage are usually noticeable.
  • *Requires immediate medical attention.
  • *Symptoms include:

*Severe eye pain accompanied by nausea or vomiting

*Hazy or blurred vision

*Severe eye and head pain

*Sudden sight loss

*Appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights

childhood glaucoma
Childhood Glaucoma
  • *Also known as congenital, pediatric or infantile glaucoma.
  • *Usually diagnosed in the first year of life and occurs in babies and young children.
  • *It is a rare condition that can be inherited or caused by incorrect development of the drainage system of the eye.
  • *Symptoms include enlarged eyes, cloudiness of the cornea and sensitivity to light.
  • *It can be corrected normally by surgery but sometimes requires surgery and medication.
childhood glaucoma cont d
Childhood Glaucoma (cont’d)
  • Primary congenital glaucoma occurs in 1 out of every 10,000

births in the U.S.

  • Primary congenital glaucoma accounts for approximately

50% to 70% of all cases of congenital glaucoma. Most cases of

pediatric glaucoma are diagnosed by the age of six months, with

80% diagnosed by the first year of life.

  • In diagnosed cases, about 2/3 of the patients are male. In

about 3/4 of all cases, the glaucoma affects both eyes.

treatments for glaucoma
Treatments for Glaucoma
  • *Eye drops: These help to reduce fluid from forming in the front of the eye or increases fluid outflow.
  • *Laser surgery: It eliminates fluid blockage in angle-closure glaucoma and increases outflow of fluid in the eye in open-angle glaucoma. The surgery types are trabeculoplasty, iridotomy and cyclophotocoagulation. A laser is used to open the trabecular meshwork draining area in a trabeculoplasty. A tiny hole is made in the iris to let the fluid flow easier in a iridotomy. A cyclophotocoagulation uses a laser beam to treat the middle layer of the eye to reduce the fluid production.
  • *Microsurgery: The procedure is called a trabeculectomy. This creates a new channel to drain the fluid to reduce the intraocular pressure that causes the glaucoma. Sometimes the best option is a glaucoma implant.
living with glaucoma
Living with Glaucoma
  • *People with glaucoma can have low vision which means they may struggle with the daily routine. There are many devices that can help with this such as magnifiers, computer text enlargers and colored lenses.
  • *Many people continue doing all that they did before being diagnosed with glaucoma. They may have problems with glare, sensitivity to light and it takes longer for their eyes to adjust when going from dark places to bright or vice versa.
  • *The most important thing is to communicate with your doctor when you notice differences and to get regular eye exams to help prevent further vision loss.
  • Get Eye Smart. Glaucoma. Retrieved July 2014 from

WebMd. Glaucoma. Retrieved July 2014 from

National Eye Institute. Glaucoma Facts. Retrieved July 2014 from

All About Vision. Glaucoma. Retrieved July 2014 from

Glaucoma. Retrieved July 2014 from

Glaucoma Foundation. Open-Angle Glaucoma. Retrieved July 2014 from

helpful links
Helpful Links