Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions resulting in optic (eye) nerve damage, which may lead to irreversible blindness if left untreated. Long term inappropriately high eye pressures (i.e. intraocular pressures) can cause damage to the optic nerve. The most common types of glaucoma – Primary Open Angle Glaucoma and Angle Closure Glaucoma, have completely different symptoms.
The symptoms of primary open angle glaucoma include:
LATE GLAUCOMA WITH TUNNEL VISION
The symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma include:
ACUTE ANGLE CLOSURE GLAUCOMA
Secondary glaucoma can arise from conditions such as long term steroid use, diabetes, mature cataracts, and prior eye trauma.
Don't wait for noticeable eye symptoms. Unfortunately, primary open angle glaucoma will not have many symptoms until the late stage when vision is impaired. Regular eye exams, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma is key to early detection.
Angle closure glaucoma often presents acutely, where eye pain, redness, tearing, vomiting and headaches are prominent symptoms.
1. Automated perimetry
2. Optic nerve photography
Treatment needs to be individualized, as each patient's target intraocular pressure is dependent on the extent of damage to the optic nerve and visual field. Unfortunately, pre-existing visual function damage cannot be reversed but the aim is to preserve and maintain visual function.
There are many modalities for treatment of glaucoma and may differ according to the subtype of glaucoma. These include:
Medications – eye pressure lowering eye drops