Part Two: What is Glaucoma: know what to expect
In part one of our discussion on Glaucoma, we discussed:
Normal Tension Glaucoma: patient has normal eye pressures, but is suffering from a percentage of side vision loss every month that can go undetected for years, until the patient is left with tunnel like vision and then that vision is eventually permanently lost.
High Tension Glaucoma: patient has elevated pressures in their eyes. This can be due to overproduction of the fluid that nourishes the inside of the eye, or poor drainage of the fluid once it has circulated within the eye. Typically one does not feel high pressure in the eye like they would for example feel high blood pressure in the body. Again, vision is lost on a monthly basis until there is no vision left and the patient is permanently blind. Fortunately with good comprehensive yearly examination we can monitor the health of the eye nerve and control eye pressure very well with eye drop medication.
There are many types of glaucoma however, essentially the damage to the eye nerve (optic nerve) is the same, the end result of all types of glaucoma is blindness if not monitored or treated properly. Here are a few more types of glaucoma:
Narrow Angle Glaucoma: the area where the fluid drains from is where the colored part of the eye (iris) , the white part of the eye (sclera) and the clear part of the eye (cornea meet). It is a 360 degree ‘drainage’ channel. Due to normal anatomy, or growth of your focusing lens (Cataracts) the drainage channel becomes very narrow. So a normal amount of nourishing fluid in the eye is produced, but like backed up traffic on I55 the Stevenson here in Chicago, the drainage is very slow. Therefore the pressure builds in the eye, to extreme measures. This can cause pain, redness, nausea, foggy or clouded vision. It is a true medical emergency and surgery is required to lower this pressure immediately in most cases.
Pediatric Glaucoma: may occur in infants, where the pressure is extremely high causing the clear part of the eye to become clouded even white in appearance.
Injury Induced Glaucoma: patient was injured many years ago, typically over 10 years ago, and healed well, however the injury caused scar tissue in the drainage channel and started inducing glaucoma in the patients injured eye. Only the severe damage starts showing about 10 years later.
Diabetes Induced Glaucoma: due to complications of diabetes, patients develop glaucoma.
Cataract Induced Glaucoma: due to complications of cataracts left too “mature” can cause glaucoma.
Stay tuned for part 3 of Glaucoma what to know, what to expect where we will discuss the latest and greatest in protecting your eyes for a lifetime of clear comfortable vision.
Watch our video on Glaucoma here.