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Glaucoma

Overview

A condition of increased fluid pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) . This damages the optic nerve causing partial visionloss and eventually blindness . Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness . There are four major types of glaucoma:- open angle or chronic glaucoma- closed angle or acute glaucoma- congenital glaucoma- secondary glaucoma. Open angle or chronic glaucoma is the most common type.All four types are characterized by increased pressure within the eyeball, and therefore all of them can cause progressivedamage to the optic nerve. Increased pressure occurs when the fluid within the eye (called aqueous humor), which is producedcontinuously, does not drain properly. The pressure pushes on the retina at the back of the eye. This reduces the blood supply tothe nerves of the retina causing them to die. As the optic nerve deteriorates, blind spots and vision changes develop. Peripheralvision (side vision) is affected first followed by front or central vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can eventually causeblindness.


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Causes

Acute glaucoma may occur with aging as the lens of the eye gradually becomes larger, resulting in narrowing of the anglebetween the iris and the cornea (the anterior chamber angle). Eventually a blockage occurs to close off the exit of aqueoushumor, and there is a sudden increase in pressure within the eye. Symptoms occur with a rapid onset in the elderly, especiallythose who are farsighted. Angle closure is associated with pupillary dilation and may be provoked by the use of drops that dilatethe eyes. Attacks can develop without any warning symptoms and frequently occur in the evening when lights are dim and thepupils are dilated.In chronic glaucoma, the drainage angle is not blocked by the iris as it is in acute glaucoma. The cause of the blocked outflowof the aqueous humor is not clearly established. The disease usually affects both eyes, and over a period of months theconsistently elevated pressure slowly damages the optic nerve and retina. Chronic glaucoma has no early warning signs and theassociated loss of peripheral vision occurs so gradually, it may go unnoticed until a substantial amount of damage and visionloss has occurred. The only way to diagnose glaucoma early is through routine eye examinations.Secondary glaucoma is caused by other diseases including some eye diseases (uveitis) and systemic diseases, and by some drugs(corticosteroids).Congenital glaucoma, present at birth, is the result of defective development of the structures of the eye. Surgery is required forcorrection. Congenital glaucoma is hereditary.Risk factors depend on the type of glaucoma. For chronic glaucoma the risk factors include; age over 40, a family history ofglaucoma, diabetes, and nearsightedness . The incidence is greater and symptoms develop at an earlier age among people ofAfrican ancestry. It is estimated that 1 to 2% of people over 40 have chronic glaucoma with about 25% of cases undetected.The risk factors for acute glaucoma are older age, farsightedness, family history of acute glaucoma, stress, and the use ofsystemic anticholinergic medications such as atropine or eye dilation drops in a high-risk individual. Acute, congenital, andsecondary glaucoma are much less common than chronic glaucoma.


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Signs & Symptoms
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Prevention

In most cases, there is no prevention for the development of glaucoma. If detected early, further vision loss and blindness maybe prevented with treatment.Careful use of dilating eye drops and systemic anticholinergic medications may prevent acute attacks in high risk individuals.


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Treatments
Conservative Treatment Modern Medicine

Damage caused to eye is not reversable so main aim of treatment is to lower down the pressure on eyes. regular use of eye drops and medication is adviced.

Surgery Modern Medicine

Surgeries are also performe these days to slower down the damage that is occuring to eye. surgeries includes laser and operative surgeries

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