Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, leading to irreversible vision loss if left untreated. This article sheds light on the nature of glaucoma, its types, risk factors, and the importance of early detection and treatment for preserving vision. Let’s see what those in the know like Dr. Zuhal Butuner have to say about this subject.
Types of Glaucoma:
a. Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: This is the most common form of glaucoma. It develops slowly over time as the drainage canals in the eye become less efficient, leading to an increase in intraocular pressure. Gradually, this elevated pressure damages the optic nerve.
b. Angle-Closure Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma occurs when the iris is in close proximity to the drainage angle of the eye, blocking the flow of fluid. This sudden increase in intraocular pressure can result in severe symptoms and requires immediate medical attention.
c. Normal-Tension Glaucoma: In this form of glaucoma, optic nerve damage occurs even without elevated intraocular pressure. The exact mechanisms behind this type are not fully understood, but factors such as blood flow issues and genetics may play a role.
a. Age: Glaucoma becomes more prevalent with age, particularly after the age of 60. However, it can occur at any age.
b. Family History: Having a close relative with glaucoma increases the risk of developing the condition.
c. Ethnicity: People of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent are at a higher risk of developing certain types of glaucoma.
d. High Eye Pressure: Elevated intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for glaucoma, but it is not the sole determinant. Some individuals develop glaucoma with normal eye pressure, while others with high eye pressure do not develop the condition.
Importance of Early Detection and Treatment:
Glaucoma is often called the “silent thief of sight” because it progresses slowly and without noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Regular comprehensive eye exams, including measurement of intraocular pressure and evaluation of the optic nerve, are crucial for detecting glaucoma early. Timely treatment through medication, laser therapy, or surgery can help control intraocular pressure, slow down disease progression, and preserve vision.