Glaucoma

Glaucoma Awareness

glaucomaGlaucoma is an eye disease that Texas Eye Institute takes very seriously! In order to detect glaucoma before you have serious issues we suggest regular eye exams. The leading cause of blindness in the United States is glaucoma. Commonly called "the sneak thief of sight" due to a lack of symptoms, anyone can become a victim of glaucoma. It is a condition caused by elevated pressure within the eye caused by either over-production of fluid or a lack of drainage capabilities. The fluid, called the "aqueous humor" circulates through the eye, cleansing & nourishing the tissues within, and then drains through what is called the "angle." When this angle is unable to drain the sufficient amount of fluid, pressure within the eye rises. This elevated pressure cannot be felt and produces no symptoms until the optic-nerve is damaged.

Some people are at an elevated risk of developing glaucoma, they include:

  • Anyone over age 60;
  • Blacks over age 40;
  • Anyone with a family history of glaucoma;
  • Anyone with a history of shock or severe anemia;
  • Anyone with past eye injuries;
  • Anyone with myopia.

Types of Glaucoma

Chronic Open-Angle Glaucoma:

This is the most common type of glaucoma. The drainage angle, where the fluids in the eye drain, is open, but working less efficiently. The inability to properly drain causes pressure within the eye to rise, which results in a gradual loss of side-vision. This can be likened to an air filter, which gathers dust over time & eventually becomes too laden with dust to work properly.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma:

This type of glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle is completely blocked, often by the iris. This prevents any fluid to drain from the eye & causes the pressure within the eye to suddenly rise. This extreme rise in pressure causes blurred vision, headaches, severe eye pain as well as the appearance of haloes around lights.

Chronic Angle-Closure Glaucoma:

This is painless and more gradual closing of the drainage angle which occurs most frequently in people of African or Asian descent.

Secondary Glaucoma:

This type of glaucoma progresses very much like chronic open-angle glaucoma. It occurs when scar tissue blocks the drainage angle. The first symptom is loss of side-vision.

Congenital Glaucoma:

This is a birth defect which affects the drainage angle. To prevent blindness, this condition must be treated shortly after birth. Symptoms include enlarged eyes, a cloudy cornea, light sensitivity and excessive tearing.

Did You Know?

Glaucoma has been called the "sneak thief of sight". Glaucoma may have no symptoms, but can cause blindness. It usually begins when pressure builds up and damages the optic nerve. Remember loss of vision is largely preventable. At the Texas Eye Institute we want to help you maintain your vision.

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