Glaucoma is the inability of the individual to see peripheral things clearly. In this eye disorder, the optic nerve associated with the transmission of visual impulses from the eye to the brain is damaged due to the built up of the intraocular pressure (IOP). The latter refers to the internal eye pressure and is required to maintain the shape of the eye ball. IOP is measured with the help of a special instrument called tonometer.
Internal fluids of the eye referred to as aqueous humor are produced by the ciliary body located behind the colored portion of the eye which is the iris. It fills the anterior chamber, a space that falls between the backside of the clear cornea and the front of the iris. A balance isought between the aqueous humor produced and its consequent flow from the filtration angle formed inside the aqueous chamber between the peripheral cornea and the iris. Rise in the intraocular pressure is a meaningful indicator of some kind of problem with the drainage of the aqueous humor- the fluid of the eye. The problem can be in terms of producing excess fluid or accessibility to conduct proper drain to outside the eye. Any reason that contributions to the imbalance or disruption is also the reason behind the building up of internal eye pressure that continues to push against the optic nerve and damages it in the process. If left uncontrolled or untreated, glaucoma may lead to irrevocable blindness due to the damaged optic nerve.
Eye care practitioners refer glaucoma as the 'silent robber of vision' because it manifests no pain or visible symptoms. However in case of angle-closure glaucoma, the symptoms appear abruptly and are featured with foggy vision, acute pain in the eye, halos around lights, headaches, vomiting and nausea.
Glaucoma is of several types
o Congenial glaucoma is the inherited form of glaucoma and is present since birth of the child. This form is characterized with poor drainage of the eye or narrow angles. Protruding eyes with foggy, whitish and enlarged appearance in children may point towards this disorder.
o Pigmentary glaucoma is characterized by the deposition of pigments in the iris that blocks the draining angles and inhabits the outflow of aqueous humor fluid. It is most prevent in white males between the age ranges 35-45 years of age.
o Secondary glaucoma erupts following eye injury, infection, infection, enlarged cataract or a tumor.
Treatment of glaucoma
o In the initial stages, intervention such as medication with eye drops is taken up to reduce the IOP. The prescribed eye drops should not have been discontinued until the prior permission of the eye practitioner or an alternative therapy prescribed.
o Other possible treatments involve the use of laser or surgery and have found to be ineffective.
o Sometimes glaucoma is seen to be prevalent in spite of the absence of high IOP, since visual field testing should also be ensured to diagnose this silent thief of eye sight.