Eye Health: Why Glaucoma Happens?

Eye Health: Why Glaucoma Happens?

Glaucoma is a common eye condition that usually occurs in older adults. It is one of the main leading causes of blindness due to the damage to the optic nerves. It commonly happens in people aged 60 and older, but can occur at any age. 

There are several types of glaucoma: open-angle , normal-tension, angle-closure, and congenital glaucoma. Each has different symptoms.  

The common treatments for glaucoma are medicine, laser treatment, and surgery.  


Causes of Glaucoma  

The most common glaucoma is the open-angle glaucoma, which happens when the drainage angle formed by the iris and cornea remains open.  When parts of the drainage don’t empty properly, it leads to a gradual increase in eye pressure.  

Meanwhile, people who are of Japanese ancestry, have a family history of glaucoma, have low blood pressure, and have other cardiovascular conditions have a higher risk of developing normal-tension glaucoma.  

Angle-closure glaucoma or acute glaucoma is considered to be a medical emergency. The usual symptoms are intense eye pain, upset stomach, red eyes,  or blurry vision.  

Lastly, congenital glaucoma is when an infant is born having eyes keep fluids from draining normally. 

Cloudy eye, light sensitivity, extra tears production, and larger eyes than normal are the signs of congenital glaucoma in children. 

You are more likely to develop glaucoma if you are 55 years of age and older, have corneas thin at the center, have severe nearsightedness or farsightedness, have an eye injury, or taking corticosteroid medicines for a long time.  


When to Talk to Your Doctor  

Symptoms that occur suddenly such as severe headache and eye pain should be a sign for you to go to your doctor as it may be an acute angle-closure glaucoma, which is a medical emergency.  

You can prevent certain types of glaucoma through regular checkups, wearing protective eye gear, knowing your family’s history, and taking your prescribed medications, if there are any.  

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