Understanding Glaucoma

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Glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, is estimated to affect 1 of every 50 adults. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, the risk of developing the disease increases dramatically after the age of 35. Glaucoma is also more likely to develop in patients who are severely nearsighted, have a family history of the condition, diabetics and Black or African American. This disease often goes unnoticed until permanent vision loss has occurred. Visual damage from glaucoma can be prevented by early diagnosis and careful treatment. Glaucoma is related to elevated fluid pressure of the eye which is causing loss of side vision. It is a series of diseases which damage the optic nerve. Damage to the optic nerve and retina causes blind…show more content…
Other factors include family history, medical conditions, which include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and physical injury of the eye. Other eye-related risk factors are eye anatomy, corneal thickness and optic nerve appearance. Conditions such as retinal detachment, eye tumors, and eye inflammations, high amounts of nearsightedness may also induce glaucoma. There are several types of glaucoma. The two main types are chronic open-angle glaucoma which is the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases and acute closed angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals, resulting in increased eye pressure. This type of glaucoma develops slowly and is a lifelong condition. Symptoms include gradual loss of side vision. It is the most common type and is affecting about three million Americans. Less common form of glaucoma is angle-closure glaucoma. Is caused by blocked drainage canals, resulting in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. This condition develops very quickly, symptoms and damage are usually very noticeable and demand immediate medical attention. Other types of glaucoma include normal-tension glaucoma occurs when optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high. Is unknown why some people’s optic nerves are damaged even though they have almost normal pressure levels.

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