What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by the damage of the optic nerve. If not treated in time, glaucoma can lead to complete sight loss. Glaucoma is especially common among older people, and is considered one of the main reasons for blindness among the elderly. There are four types of this eye disease:

  • Open-angle. It is the most common type of glaucoma. Over 90 percent of all patients diagnosed with glaucoma have an open-angle glaucoma. 
  • Angel closure. In this type of glaucoma, the entrance to the drainage canal in the eye is either too small or too narrow. This leads to increased intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve.
  • Normal tension. Glaucoma can also affect people with normal levels of eye pressure. According to the statistics and research, you are at a higher risk of this type of glaucoma if you are of Japanese ancestry. 
  • Secondary types of glaucoma. Sometimes, this condition can develop secondary to other health conditions and issues, including eye surgery, tumor, eye traumas, and cataracts.

Glaucoma is caused by different things, including taking certain medications (such as corticosteroids), low blood flow in the optic nerve, high blood pressure, and poor or blocked drainage in the eye. 


Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of glaucoma depend on what is causing the condition. Some types of glaucoma are only characterized by gradual sight loss beginning with peripheral vision. Therefore, it is extremely important for older people to visit their eye doctors regularly for routine eye exams. This will help to identify the presence of glaucoma soon enough that treatment can begin to minimize vision loss. 

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and its onset comes with a host of severe symptoms, including: eye redness, vomiting, vision disturbances, blurred vision, and some others. Acute angle-closure glaucoma can quickly lead to irreversible vision loss and therefore needs to be treated immediately. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, see an eye doctor for an eye exam as soon as possible. 

Treatment Options

The first and most common step in treating glaucoma is using eye drops. However, if they do not help after a while, a doctor may recommend one of the following treatments: 

  • Medications to control and reduce eye pressure. This medication comes as either pills or drops. You can either take one of them or a combination of both. 
  • Surgery to create a clear drainage path for eye fluids. One of the most innovative and quite effective surgical methods is called laser peripheral iridotomy. 

Kueber Eye Care in Park Rapids, MN – Quality Eye Care for the Whole Family

Regardless of the type of eye issue and disorder you have, Kueber Eye Care, serving patients in Park Rapids, MN, is ready to provide you and your family with personalized, high-quality, and uncompromising service. We do our best to keep our patients well-informed and comfortable. Do not hesitate to give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors.