Like in the case of many diseases, the exact causes behind glaucoma are not entirely understood till date. The condition leads to decrease in the blood flow to the nerve or a situation of ‘mechanical compression’. It cannot be said that only people with high pressure have glaucoma since a lot of people who don’t, get it too.
Following are the Symptoms of Glaucoma:
- Stark difficulty in adjusting to change in light conditions – both darkness and light
- Difficulty in focussing on both distant and near objects
- Pain in and around the eyes
- Change in the iris colour
- Swelling of the eyelids
- Appearance of dark spots at the viewing centre
- Watery eyes
If the condition is very serious, patients may also experience sudden loss of vision in one of the eyes or blurring of vision. Some patients also see rainbows around any light source and/or block spots.
The Main Types of glaucoma are:
- Open-angle Glaucoma – This is the most common form of the disease and the open angle being referred to can become blocked leading to increase in pressure on the eye. This may eventually lead to damage of the optic nerve and the condition will then be known as chronic open-angle glaucoma.
- Angle-closure Glaucoma – This happens when the drainage angle becomes blocked after a long period of narrowing down, which ends up causing a huge pressure on the eyes. This condition may lead to complete blindness and symptoms include blurred vision, headache, pain in the eye and vomiting.
- Exfoliation Syndrome – A kind of open-angle glaucoma, this happens when excessive whitish material develops on the lens and the drainage angle of the eye. This will lead to added pressure on the eye.
- Pigmentary Glaucoma – This condition is particularly found among near-sighted, young Caucasian men and is characterised by the backward positioning of the iris leading to contact with the supportive structures of the lens. The cells lining the back of the iris are disturbed due to this and as a result, pigment particles are released into the drainage system. All of this ultimately leads to blockage of the drain and increase in pressure.
There are also some other kind of glaucoma which can result from injuries to the eye, diseases of the eye, tumors and maybe even found at birth. Depending on the kind of glaucoma one has, doctors usually choose between laser and surgical treatments.