Glaucoma condition is characterised by a raised pressure within the eyes due to an enhanced
formation of aqueous humour, a difficulty in its exit, or a raised pressure in the existing veins.
Glaucoma may be primary (causes within the eye) or secondary (due to another disease or
a consequence of another disease). Glaucoma is the major cause of blindness among adults today. One out of every eight blind persons is a victim of glaucoma. Far sighted persons are more prone to develop this disease than near sighted ones. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness among African Americans and Hispanics in the United States. African Americans experience glaucoma at a rate of three times that of Caucasians and experience blindness four times more frequently. Fortunately, medical advances have made it easier to diagnose and treat glaucoma. If detected and treated early, glaucoma need not cause even moderate vision loss. Unfortunately, the vision lost to glaucoma is gone forever. Medications and surgery can help slow the progression of the disease, but there is no cure.
Simple Glaucoma: Age 70 years onwards. It has a very slow onset and is practically
symptom less except for mild headaches and eye aches. There may be a defect in the visual
field. There is gradual difficulty in reading. Vision is finally lost in one eye and seriously
affected in the other. Always consult an eye doctor. Vision experts estimate that half of those affected may not know they have it because symptoms may not occur during the early stages of the disease. By the time the patient notices something is wrong, the disease has already caused considerable damage. There are two major types of glaucoma: chronic or primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and acute closed-angle glaucoma. Other variations include congenital glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma and secondary glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases of the optic nerve involving loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern of optic neuropathy . Left untreated, an elevated IOP causes irreversible damage the optic nerve and retinal fibers resulting in a progressive, permanent loss of vision. The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, develops gradually, giving no warning signs. Many people aren't even aware they have an eye problem until their vision is extensively compromised. Glaucoma affects an estimated 3 million Americans, with 120,000 blind due to the condition. It's like an electric cable made up of thousands of individual wires carrying the images from the inside back wall of your eyeball (retina) to your brain. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness . Optic nerve damage usually occurs in the presence of high intraocular pressure; however, it can occur with normal or even below-normal eye pressure.
Glaucoma refers to a group of disorders that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Your eye has pressure just like your blood, and when this intraocular pressure (IOP) increases to dangerous levels, it damages the optic nerve. Although raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma, there is no set threshold for intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. This elevated pressure is caused by a backup of fluid in the eye. Over time, it causes damage to the optic nerve. The common feature of these diseases is damage to the optic nerve, usually accompanied by an abnormally high pressure inside your eyeball.
Causes of Glaucoma
The common Causes of Glaucoma :
- Elevated IOP is still considered a major risk factor for glaucoma, though, because studies have shown that the higher the IOP is, the more likely the optic nerve will be damaged.
- No one knows why certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans, have higher rates of glaucoma that lead to blindness.
- Angle closure (acute) glaucoma is caused by a shift in the position of the iris of the eye that suddenly blocks the exit of the aqueous humor fluid.
- This causes a quick, severe, and painful rise in the pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure)
- Congenital glaucoma, which is present at birth, is the result of abnormal development of the fluid outflow channels of the eye.
- Secondary glaucoma is caused by other diseases, including eye diseases such as uveitis , systemic diseases, and drugs such as corticosteroids.
- Primary open-angle glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans and Alaska Natives, occurring 6-8 times more often than in whites, often in the earlier stages of life
- Nausea and vomiting may occur.
Symptom of Glaucoma
The first symptom of glaucoma is the appearance of halos or coloured rings round distant objects, when seen at night. In this condition, the iris is usually pushed forward, and the patient
often complains of constant pain in the region of the brow, near the temples and the cheeks are some of the main symptom of glaucoma. Headaches are not uncommon. There is gradual impairment of vision as glaucoma develops, and this may ultimately result in blindness if proper steps are not taken to deal with the disease in the early stages.
Other Symptom of Glaucoma
- Sudden, severe blurring of vision.
- Severe pain. The pain may occur in the eye itself or in certain areas immediately around the eye.
- Colored halos around lights.
- Reduced peripheral vision
- Optic cup asymmetry
- Redness of the eye.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Prevention tips for Glaucoma Cure and Home remedies :
- The patient should not take excessive fluids, whether it is juice, milk or water at any time. He may drink small amounts several times with at least one hour intervals.
- The diet of the patient suffering from glaucoma should be based on three basic food groups,namely, seeds, nuts and grains ; vegetables and fruit, with emphasis on raw vitamin
C-rich foods, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- The breakfast may consist of oranges or grapes or any
other juicy fruits in season and a handful of raw nuts or seeds.
- The dinner may comprise of steamed vegetables, butter and cottage cheese.
- Certain nutrients have been found helpful in the treatment of glaucoma. It has been found that the glaucoma patients are usually deficient in vitamins A, B,C, protein ,calcium and other minerals.
- The patient should undertake various methods of relaxing and strengthening the eyes. He should avoid emotional stress and cultivate a tranquil, restful life style. He should also avoid prolonged straining of the eyes such as occurs during excessive T.V. or movie watching and excessive reading. The use of sun glasses should be avoided.
The major types of glaucoma are:
Open-angle glaucoma :
Open-angle glaucoma by far the most common form, has no symptoms at first. The pressure in the eye builds up slowly and gradually. At some point, side vision (peripheral vision) is lost and without treatment, total blindness can occur in the Open-angle glaucoma. Regular eye exams can help catch the disease of Open-angle glaucoma at an early stage and prevent further damage.
Acute closed-angle glaucoma
Acute closed-angle glaucoma results from a sudden, complete blocking of fluid flowing out of the eye. Symptoms of Acute closed-angle glaucoma may include severe pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and seeing a rainbow halo around lights. Acute closed-angle glaucoma is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately or blindness could result in one or two days.
Chronic closed-angle glaucoma
Chronic closed-angle glaucoma may produce a vague eye ache or blurred vision; however, there are usually no symptoms of Chronic closed-angle glaucoma.
Treatment of Glaucoma
Here is the list of the methods for treating Glaucoma :
- Epinephrine compounds are eye drops that lower the intraocular pressure by increasing the rate of aqueous humor flow out of the eye.
- Laser surgery for glaucoma slightly increases the outflow of the fluid from the eye in open-angle glaucoma or eliminates fluid blockage in angle-closure glaucoma.
- Blindness will occur in a few days if it is not treated.
- Alpha adrenergic agonists are topical medications used to reduce the aqueous humor production and increase aqueous humor outflow.
- Laser or surgical treatment may be used when medical treatment isn't sufficiently effective.
- Beta - blockers (available as eye drops or pills) help decrease the rate at which the aqueous humor flows into the eye this type of medication includes topical timolol (Timoptic), levobunolol (Betagan), betaxolol (Betaoptic-S), Iopidine and Ocupress.