Glaucoma: Causes, Symptoms, Risk and Treatment

The Glaucoma is the second cause of blindness worldwide and reached 65 million. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve of the eye. It happens when the front part of an eye builds up fluid. This extra fluid increases the pressure in the eye causing damage to the optic nerve. This fluid is found in the anterior and posterior spaces of the eye and these anterior and posterior spaces are separated with the iris and the ciliary muscle.

Predictions are that glaucoma will affect almost 80 million people by 2020, and 111.8 million people by 2040, affecting more people residing in Asia and Africa. The estimated prevalence of glaucoma is approximately 5-7% in the black population, and 3-5% in the white population of South Africa. There are different variations of glaucoma, but the two major types are Open-angle glaucoma and Angle-closure glaucoma.

Glaucoma is considered a sneaky disease because it presents with so few symptoms. However, the disease is serious. If left untreated, it glucoma causes vision loss and eventually blindness. Acute types of glaucoma are the exception and are also serious. They are accompanied by sudden, severe symptoms like redness, nausea, and severe pain with blurriness or visual disturbances. Emergency treatment is necessary to prevent blindness.

The term “glaucoma” actually describes different kinds of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Glaucoma may be defined as a condition that causes progressive neuropathy in the optic field and is characterized by structural changes to the optic nerve head or optic disk. This may lead to functional changes in the patient’s visual field. Each kind of glaucoma has its own unique features. All are related to pressure in the eye. Most progress gradually and subtly. As a result, many people experience no symptoms. Some examples of types of glaucoma include: Open-Angle and Angle-Closure.

Open Angle Glaucoma:

This type of glaucoma is painless and causes no vision changes at first. There are no initial signs but if left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and irreversible blindness. Open angle glaucoma often develops painlessly and gradually.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma:

It happens when the drainage angle gets completely blocked, eye pressure rises very quickly. Angle-closure is a less common form of glaucoma. There is a closed or narrow angle between the iris and cornea. It involves symptoms and damage that are usually very noticeable.


Glaucoma Causes:

Age: People over 60 are more likely to get glucoma.

Race: People residing in Asia and Africa are more likely to have glaucoma and much more likely to suffer permanent vision loss as a result.

Family History: Having a family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing the disease.

Medical Condition: Some studies indicate diabetes may increase the risk of developing glaucoma, as does high blood pressure.

Also Read: The Harmful Effects of Lights on the Eye

Signs & Symptoms:

• Chronic pain
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Blurry vision
• Rainbow around lights

Risk Factors:

• Mid or older Age
• Hereditary
• People suffering from diabetes


• Eye Drops
• Laser Treatment
• Surgery

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