Meaning of Glaucoma and its causes

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Glaucoma is a dangerous eye condition that could cause blindness when it remains untreated. When someone is suffering from this ailment, their eyes’ fluid pressure rises beyond the healthy level. More severe glaucoma can destroy the optic nerve, and this could lead to blindness. 

Older adults, African-Americans, and people with a history of the disease are more vulnerable to this condition. Also called the “sneak thief of the eyes,” this condition doesn’t have symptoms in its early stage. That’s why it’s advisable to frequently visit your optician so that they can detect and treat your glaucoma in its early stage before it degenerates to a long term vision loss. 

The Types of Glaucoma 

There are two types of glaucoma – the primary open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma. 

Primary Open Angle 

The primary open-angle is the most common type of glaucoma. It develops gradually when your eyes aren’t draining enough fluids as they should. And when this continues, the pressure will build and start damaging your optic nerve. 

Most times, the primary open-angle glaucoma is painless and may not change your vision during its early stage. Perhaps, that’s why most people don’t even know if they have this condition. 

So, it’s essential to go for a regular eye examination to detect early signs of damage to your optic nerve. 

The Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma develops when your iris is very close to your eyes’ drainage angle. When your iris is too close to your eyes’ drainage angle, it could block the drainage angle. 

Sadly, when your drainage blocks, there will be an increase in eye pressure. It’s actually an eye medical emergency called an acute attack. Once you start experiencing it, you should visit your ophthalmologist immediately. Otherwise, you may go blind. 

Here are some common signs of acute angle-closure attack; 

  • Sudden blurriness of your vision 
  • Severe pains in the eyes 
  • Acute headache
  • You are feeling sick in your stomach.

Read Also: 7 Bad Habits That Are Dangerous to Your Health 

 

Causes of Glaucoma 

 

Like I mentioned earlier, glaucoma develops when there’s damage to the nerve optic. The more severe this damage is, the more blind spot develops around your visual field. 

However, experts don’t know the reason why nerve optic deteriorates in the first place. But it’s linked to an increase in the pressure of the eyes. 

According to experts, an increase in eye pressure is a result of aqueous humor fluid. And this fluid flows through the inside of your eyes and drains out through the trabecular meshwork tissue. The tissue is around the angle where the iris and cornea meet. 

But when the fluid (aqueous humor) is overproduced, or the drainage system doesn’t work correctly, it won’t be easy to flow out at its normal rate. And when this happens, it increases the eye pressure. 

Again, experts posited that glaucoma tends to run in families. In other words, some genes related to eye pressure and optic nerve damage are hereditary. 

Risk Factors of Glaucoma 

You are prone to having glaucoma if you fall in any of the following categories; 

  • African American, Irish, Russian, Hispanic, Japanese, Scandinavian descend
  • You are over 40 years. 
  • There’s a history of glaucoma in your family. 
  • You are nearsighted or farsighted. 
  • You have diabetes 
  • Poor vision 
  •  You are currently on steroid medication like prednisone. 
  • You have had an eye injury in the past. 
  • Your corneas are thinner than usual 
  • You are struggling with high blood pressure, Heart Disease, or Sickle cell anemia

How to Prevent Glaucoma  

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness around the world. It caused about 6.6% of all blindness around the world in 2020. But if you take the following steps, you may be able to prevent it; 

  • Go for dilated eye examination regularly 
  • Know more about your family health history 
  • Try to exercise safely. 
  • Take your prescribed eye drops religiously. 
  • Wear eye protection when necessary to avoid eye injury. 

 

 

 

Beatrice Sargin
Beatrice Sargin
Beatrice Sargin is a dancer/choreographer, health and food blogger and a graduate Microbiologist who is passionate about nutrition and holistic wellbeing. She's a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Healthy Eating for Weight loss and a Personal Trainer. With her knowledge in these fields, she intends to improve the health of all those who care about their health by helping them work hand in hand to achieve their dream body, health and lifestyle goals.