Glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse with time. It’s often linked to a buildup of eye pressure. The increased pressure is called intraocular pressure, which damages the optic nerve. If the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. Most often people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain. Glaucoma can strike people of any age, from infants to older adults.

Causes of glaucoma

Glaucoma is the result of high fluid pressure inside your eye. Normally, the fluid, called aqueous humour flows out of your eye through a mesh-like channel. The liquid builds up if the channel gets blocked. That’s what causes glaucoma. The explanation behind the blockage is unknown, but doctors do know it can be inherited, meaning it’s passed from parents to children.

There are several different kinds of glaucoma, including:

  • Open-angle glaucoma: This is the most common form of glaucoma eye disease. It occurs when the eye's fluid passes too slowly through the open drainage angle where the eye's cornea and iris meet.
  • Low-tension glaucoma: In this form of glaucoma, optic nerve damage occurs even when your eye pressure is normal.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma: You may also call it acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. This occurs when the drainage angle closes due to iris is in the way. This can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in your eye. It’s also linked to farsightedness and cataracts, which leads clouding of the lens inside your eye.
  • Congenital glaucoma: Children can be born with a defective angle in the eye that doesn't allow fluid to drain properly. Children with the condition might have a cloudy eye, be very sensitive to light, or produce an excess of tears.

Risk factors of Glaucoma

  • Older age
  • Thin corneas
  • Nearsightedness
  • Family history of Glaucoma
  • History of anemia
  • Previous eye injuries

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Most types of glaucoma don't initially cause clear-cut symptoms. The first sign is often a loss of peripheral or side vision which can go unnoticed until late in the disease. That’s why glaucoma is often called as the “thief of eyesight”.

If you have any of the following symptoms seek emergency medical attention:

  • Vision loss
  • Redness in the eye
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Eye pain
  • Tunnel vision
  • Nausea or vomiting