Our eyes are surrounded with fluid that is constantly flowing in and out of the back of the eye, behind the iris, and into the front part of the eye. This fluid is important in sending signals from our eyes to our brain for better understanding. If there is any sort of blockage during this sequence, immense pressure (called intraocular pressure, or IOP) will build up causing glaucoma. There are four different varieties of glaucoma for you to be aware of: open-angle (chronic) glaucoma, angle-closure (acute) glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma. While certain types of glaucoma aren’t curable, if caught early enough, there is treatment for every kind, and it can significantly reduce the chances of vision-loss. The treatment needed for glaucoma depends solely on the type you’re suffering from, and reactions your eyes have.
Chronic glaucoma affects the highest percentage of those suffering from glaucoma. It cannot be cured, but it can be managed – with close help from medical experts. By coming on slowly, it can be caught earlier, but it also means a gradual loss of sight – which can be a very scary situation. One symptom of open-angle glaucoma is the slow loss of peripheral sight. Depending on the damage, it can be helped with both eye drops or pills.
Angle-closure (acute) glaucoma is a sudden and extreme form. It is certainly an emergency and should be handled as such, in order to avoid vision-loss! Symptoms include severe pain in one or both eyes, cloudy vision, a variety of colors surrounding all light fixtures, swollen and/or red eyes, and even nausea. Treatment could be anything from pills and eye drops to an IV or possibly even emergency surgery.
Congenital glaucoma is also very serious as it primarily affects babies. However, while crucial, it is usually caught by the doctor on either newborns, or babies that are just a few months old. As long as you are going to your doctor regularly, it should be caught and treated quickly via surgery. Just in case, always keep a lookout for your baby’s eyes; symptoms include dilated pupils, red eyes, light sensitivity, or cloudiness in one or both eyes.
Secondary glaucoma comes from some previous disorder, medication, or disease. Typically your doctor will find this and diagnose it as well; treatment can often be postponed as treatment for the original disorder can help for the secondary glaucoma symptoms to also disappear.
Glaucoma is a very serious disease, with several different forms of attack – and can be just as worrisome as the word, itself. This extremely critical eye disease is currently one of the primary reasons for blindness in the United States; it’s very important that we understand as much as we can in efforts to be able to best diagnose specific types of glaucoma, and then determine the next needed step. Whenever you go in to get your next eyeglasses prescription, be sure to consult your doctor about your personal risks for glaucoma. If you’re not yet wearing glasses, in order to help push off a possible inevitability or depending on prescription glasses, of course, consulting an ophthalmologist is truly the number one solution for any optical concerns you may have! However, knowing more about harmful diseases can also only better prepare you should you need to face this disorder head-on.
Hillary Glaser is a social networking specialist and expert in cross-media promotion, currently working on promoting prescription eyeglasses. She is the Director of Marketing and Special Projects for GlassesUSA.com – the easiest way to buy glasses online, which now offers free shipping on all US orders with the code FreeShip10.