What You Should Know About the Two Most Common Forms of Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a serious condition that causes damage to the optic nerve. Left untreated, it can cause blindness. It’s a fairly common disease that can, thankfully, be picked up through routine eye examinations. There are various types of treatment, and their success is wholly impacted through early intervention.
The following discusses what you need to know about the two most common types of glaucoma and what can be done about them.
All About Glaucoma
- What is glaucoma?
- The two most common forms of glaucoma
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition that causes raised pressure within the eye. This is caused by an increase in fluid within the eye that, in turn, puts pressure on the optic nerve, the pathway to the brain. If this is allowed to continue unabated and without timely intervention, it can damage the nerve and cause irreversible sight degradation.
The two most common forms of glaucoma
There are various types of glaucoma, the most common being what’s called open-angle glaucoma. The next most common is known as closed-angle glaucoma.
- Open-angle glaucoma: This tends to affect both eyes and is often hereditary. It occurs over several years and, for many of these, causes no symptoms. It’s caused by a blockage within the eye that affects the natural flow of fluid into and out of the eye, causing the pressure to rise. When symptoms eventually become apparent, it usually affects peripheral vision at first.
- Closed-angle glaucoma: A much less common cause, this affects a single eye and is caused by the iris changing moving within the eye. This blocks the natural eye drainage and the pressure within the eye then rises very quickly. Symptoms occur quickly and it’s considered a medical emergency.
Glaucoma Diagnosis and Treatment
- How glaucoma is treated
How glaucoma is treated
By far the most common form of glaucoma is the one that develops slowly over time. There are certain reasons a person might be predisposed to the condition, such as:
- A direct member of the family (mother, father, sibling) has or had glaucoma
- It’s more common amongst those of Caribbean, African, Hispanic, and Asian descent
- You’re over the age of 45. As you age, the risk of glaucoma increases
- You regularly take steroids
- You suffer from one or more of the following medical conditions: hypertension, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or diabetes
- You suffer from one of the following eye conditions: Extreme near or far-sightedness, thin corneas, high intra-eye pressure, or have significantly poor vision
There are various treatments available to treat open-angle glaucoma. However, the first step is to have a timely diagnosis. In other words, the condition is noted before it becomes symptomatic. Glaucoma is often treated in conjunction with your medical doctor to help lower other underlying causes, such as high blood pressure.
The first course of action might be eye drops and/or a combination of oral medication. If this fails to have the desired effect, or you suffer significant side effects, then surgery is the next option.
An ophthalmologist experienced in such procedures is essential if this is deemed an appropriate route. There are a variety of treatments, including laser surgery and shunts. All surgical procedures have the same common goal; to reduce the pressure within the eye. They can be very successful and, if carried out at the optimal time, improve vision from glaucoma quite dramatically.
Worried About Glaucoma? Get World-Beating Treatment at the WBEC
Glaucoma diagnosis and treatment is a specialty at the West Boca Eye Center. This academic-grade clinic is headed by leading ophthalmologist, Dr. Brent Bellotte, who’s dedicated his career to bringing proven, pioneering treatment to his patients. This means that cutting-edge treatments for glaucoma and other eye conditions are often available here before a wider rollout.
Discover more about the latest glaucoma treatments at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/glaucoma-dropless-therapy/ and get in contact today to book an appointment.