Spotting symptoms of glaucoma early would greatly help in getting it treated early on, ensuring better prognosis.
Our eyes are one of the organs that are extremely important. A lot of people cannot imagine living without them. So, what happens if you seem to be losing your sight little by little? Will you just let it go and waive it off as a symptom of old age? Or will you fight for your sight and battle the symptoms of glaucoma? In this article, we will be talking about glaucoma and its different symptoms. We all know that glaucoma is treatable if it is spotted early. Take note of the symptoms of glaucoma mentioned here for they may be very useful later on.
Before we go to the symptoms though, let us first take a look into what causes glaucoma.
Causes of Symptoms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition where the optic nerve of the eye is affected. This is the nerve responsible for sending visual impulses to the brain. Since this nerve is affected, your vision gets affected too. There are other books that state that glaucoma could also be caused by an increase in the intraocular pressure in the eye. Since the pressure is increased, the optic nerved gets compressed, thus sufficiently blocking the passage of nerve impulses.
Note that this is not just a single condition, but a group of conditions. The following would be the four types of glaucoma:
- Open-angle – this is also called chronic glaucoma. This tends to be hereditary, so if you have a family member who is suffering from one, there is a greater than 50% change that you’d have open-angle glaucoma too. Risk factors for open-angle glaucoma would include: age (50 years and above), race (African-Americans) and disease conditions like myopia, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular problems. Open-angle glaucoma is cause by having a very small opening between the cornea and the iris. This would increase the eye pressure because the aqueous cannot flow very well.
- Closed-angle glaucoma – this is also called narrow-angle glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma is caused by a closure in the space between the cornea and the iris. As you can deduce by now, this occurs a lot faster than open-angle glaucoma. Causes would include hyperopia, tumors and pupillary block.
- Congenital glaucoma – as the name suggests, this is a condition that one gets ever since the day they were born. Congenital glaucoma is not very common, and only affects 1 out of 13,000 newborns. Symptoms of glaucoma would present itself in their first year of life.
- Secondary glaucoma – is glaucoma that is caused by some external factors. These would include an infection or an eye injury.
Symptoms of Glaucoma to Watch Out For
As mentioned in the start of this article, spotting the symptoms of glaucoma early on would really help you in getting better treatment. Better treatment means better prognosis. With open-angle glaucoma, you really would not be able to spots symptoms during the first parts of the disease. As it progresses, you would observe a narrowing in the visual field, starting with the peripheral vision. This is commonly called tunnel vision.
With the narrow angle type, the symptoms of glaucoma have a very rapid onset, and they should be rushed to the hospital immediately. Symptoms include severe eye pain that occurs suddenly, cloudy vision, halos surrounding lights, nausea and vomiting.
Congenital glaucoma is different and harder to observe since babies cannot verbalize what they feel yet. However, you would still be able to observe the following: cloudiness in the front eye, sensitivity to light, teary eyes.
Treating Symptoms of Glaucoma
The major goals of glaucoma treatment would be to save your vision and to reduce the pressure. Each type of glaucoma has specific treatments that are only for them. Read on to find out.
- Open Angle Glaucoma Treatment
Eye drops. Treatment for open angle glaucoma usually just involves medicated eye drops. These drops would be medicated to cause the eye to produce lesser fluid, or to increase the size of the opening. They are called miotic eye drops.
Laser treatment. Other people prefer to spend more money on treatments. If you are going to spend some serious money, might as well make it worth it. Laser treatments are available for people that have a problem with open angle glaucoma.
- Acute Angle Glaucoma Treatment
This is considered as a medical emergency. Medication is given through an IV line to make it work faster. Surgery is a very viable option. It is called irridotomy. They make use of laser beams to increase the opening in the eye, and in essence allowing the aqueous to drain out. This helps relieve optic pressure.
- Congenital Glaucoma
This would require surgery and the patient would need to undergo anesthesia induction.
Save your vision. Look out for the symptoms of glaucoma mentioned earlier, and you might just have save you own.