Glaucoma is a type of eye nerve disease. It usually occurs when an increase in high pressure in the eyeball can result in progressive and irreversible loss of vision. High eyeball pressure is caused by an imbalance between the production and discharge of fluid in the eyeball.
Glaucoma can be divided into several categories: congenital or acquired / pathological; primary or secondary; open angle or closed angle. Open-angle glaucoma is usually chronic while closed-angle glaucoma can sometimes cause sudden eye pressure to rise.
Individuals with a family history of glaucoma are more at risk of developing glaucoma. Other factors include age over 50, systemic diseases such as diabetes, prolonged use of steroid medications as well as trauma or eye injuries. Those with high myopia or high myopia are also at high risk of getting glaucoma.
Early stage glaucoma usually does not have any symptoms. When a person experiences symptoms such as blurred vision, pain or depression in the front of the head, decreased field of vision, nausea or vomiting, or glare / seeing the shadow of a circle around the light of a lamp, then the patient has reached a severe level and should be examined by an ophthalmologist immediately. For individuals at risk for glaucoma, it is advisable to undergo an eye examination every year.
In the early stages, glaucoma is treated with eye drops aimed at lowering eye pressure. An ophthalmologist may prescribe more than one type of eye drops depending on the condition of the glaucoma. Other treatments include laser (iridotomy) or surgery (trabeculectomy, iridectomy) if glaucoma cannot be controlled with drops. The main purpose of treatment is to maintain vision and prevent more serious eye nerve damage where the eyes will become blind.
Glaucoma can be controlled if detected early and treated with proper and prompt treatment. Patients should also follow the instructions of the ophthalmologist which is to undergo follow-up examinations from time to time and use anti-glaucoma drops daily. The best way to detect glaucoma and prevent damage to the eye nerves is with an annual examination of the eyes even though the level of vision is normal and the person has no symptoms.