Types of Glaucoma

Types of Glaucoma and Available Treatments

Glaucoma is the condition when the fluid pressure rises within the human eye. If glaucoma is not treated properly, it can lead to damage of the eye’s optic nerve and can lead to vision loss. Though glaucoma is not really common, but most likely to affect older people between the age of 40 to the age of 60.

Presently, there is no cure for glaucoma, but the treatment can slow or stop the progression of glaucoma. There are many types of glaucoma. However, not all types are the same. These various types of glaucoma are divided into four types

  • Congenital glaucomas, with no apparent cause
  • Open-angle glaucoma, in which the angle of the opening is larger than normal, leading to increased pressure inside the eye
  • Angle-closure glaucoma, in which the clumps of the optic nerve are surrounded by an iris, rather than by a ring of tissue
  • Closed-angle glaucoma, where the iris does not close

Glaucomic symptoms can also be caused by eye injuries, eye damage from infections, or trauma. In all types of glaucoma surgery is required to correct the problem.

There are various types of treatment available for congenital glaucoma

However, it depends upon the age, grade and size of the optic nerve at the time of detection. The best treatments for these types of glaucoma are Vitamin and Herbal medicines, with or without surgery. These medicines can improve intraocular pressure, relieve pain and pressure on the fundus, facilitate passage of food and liquid, provide relief from cough, help relieve straining and swelling, and reduce intraocular pressure.

Since increased intraocular pressure, especially with the type of glaucoma known as progressive optic nerve damage, is usually a complication of certain types of cancer, and thus surgery may be the only way to treat it. For example, in carcinoma of the eyelid, or ocular tumours, laser eye surgery may be appropriate.

The procedure cuts a hole through the eyelid and a laser or an instrument shines a light on the tumour through the hole made. In this case, no collateral structures (the optic nerve damage causing the tumour) are affected.

Glaucoma that is left untreated is usually progressive, meaning that it gets worse over time

When the disease is left untreated for a long time, damage to the optic nerves can cause blindness in either one eye. It is rare that blindness occurs in both eyes. If the disease is left untreated, the damage can spread to other areas of the brain or the spinal cord, resulting in permanent vision loss.

Two types of glaucoma are the open-angle (both iris) and the closed-angle. Glaucoma is caused by open angle-closure has no symptoms. The eye symptoms that arise are

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning or stinging pain
  • Sensitivity to light

One of the types of glaucoma is called uveitis glaucoma

Uveitis means inflammation of the uvea, which is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye. Uveitis is often accompanied by pain, blurred vision, reduced vision, and pain when opening the eyes. Uveitis is a progressive disease. Once the damage has been done, it cannot be reversed. Uveitic glaucoma is a common complication of uveitis affecting some 20% of patients.

The term uveitic glaucoma is used to describe glaucoma resulting indirectly or directly from uveitis. Glaucoma is more commonly associated with anterior uveitis and with chronic forms of uveitis. Uveitis and its treatment can lead to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP).

A persistent rise in IOP can lead to glaucomatous optic neuropathy and visual field loss. Intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in uveitis can be secondary to open-angle or angle-closure mechanisms. It can also be to due corticosteroid-induced glaucoma.

Management of uveitic glaucoma is two-pronged

  • The aetiology of uveitis must be identified and treated
  • Next, the elevated IOP is treated, making sure to assess for steroid-induced ocular hypertension
  • Medical and surgical therapy can be used to fully treat the uveitis glaucoma

Some types of glaucoma also are called closed angle-closures, optic nerve palsy, and ocular hypertension. Any type of glaucoma damage the iris of the eye, usually either completely shutting off the optic nerve or causing it to move toward the cornea faster than it should.

In this case, light can not enter the eye properly, causing blurry vision. This is usually reversible. However, if it is not reversible, it causes damage to the retinas, which results in loss of vision.

Research has shown that glaucoma conditions may be inherited through family history

If a person has a familial history of glaucoma blindness, there is an increased risk of developing glaucoma glaucomas. Also, people who smoke have higher risk factors for developing glaucoma glaucomas. The risk factors can be controlled, however, with treatment.

Other types of glaucoma are due to exposure to certain chemicals, including

  • Gasoline
  • Pesticides
  • Chemicals used in manufacturing
  • Medications
  • Cigarettes

These chemicals can trigger a higher risk of developing glaucoma. People who work in areas where they are exposed to these chemicals such as

  • Trucking
  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Painting

They also face a higher risk of developing glaucoma. As with other types of glaucoma, the risk factors include

  • Family history
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender

African Americans, Hispanics, and other patients who are considered to be at higher risk have been tested and found to have a genetic predisposition for glaucoma. There are many genetic variations among these patients that contribute to their increased risk of developing this disease.

One form of glaucoma most often associated with the elderly is angle-closure glaucoma

It is more common in African American patients, has a high incidence in men over 50 years of age, and often begins when you are middle-aged. The symptoms are more persistent than peripheral. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should contact your eye doctor immediately to discuss your options.

If you notice any of the above symptoms or any others, call your eye doctor immediately to discuss your options. There are many treatment options available to treat glaucoma. Some of these treatments are very effective in reducing or eliminating vision loss.

However, if you do not treat your angle-closure glaucoma, it could progress into a more serious condition called ocular hypertension, which is dangerous and life-threatening. Always speak to your eye doctor if you have eye pressure symptoms.

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