What are the causes of Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions in which the pressure inside the eye becomes too high, this can lead to damage to the optic nerve located at the back of the eye, which in turn can result in loss of vision if left untreated. The reason for this loss of vision is because the optic nerve carries information from the light sensitive layer in your eye, the retina, to the brain where it is then perceived as a picture.
Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness worldwide.
The eye has a constant flow of fluid running through it, the flow in and out of the eye helps to ensure that the eye maintains its round shape and prevents it from becoming too hard or too soft.Sometimes damage can due to an increase in pressure within the eye. This increase in pressure can occur when fluid (the aqueous humour) in the front part of your eye (the anterior chamber) fails to drain away properly.Normally the amount of fluid which is produced is balanced out by the amount draining away, so a constant pressure is maintained in the front part of your eye. If you have glaucoma, the pressure within your eye can be that high that your optic nerve is damaged and could lead to a loss of sight.
There are a few different types of Glaucoma with the 2 main types of Glaucoma being:
- Primary open angle glaucoma (formerly known as chronic simple glaucoma)
A slowly progressing condition, which occurs when the tiny microscopic drainage channels gradually become blocked.If there is any suspicion of primary open angle glaucoma, normally treatment by an eye specialist will be reccommended as soon as possible.
- primary angle closure glaucoma (also known as closed angle or acute glaucoma)
This occurs at a much faster rate when the flow of fluid inside the eye is unable to pass through the pupil, which in turn causes a fast rise in pressure within the eye.Classed as a medical emergency this will need treatment in hospital right away.
There is also Secondary Glaucoma:
Secondary glaucoma occurs as a result of other eye conditions, such as,inflammation inside the eye (uveitis or iritis), an injury to the eye,treatment with certain medicines or repeated inflammationof the eye. If you have diabetes, you may be at risk of developing a type of secondary glaucoma called rubeotic glaucoma.
Another albeit rare type of Glaucoma is Congenital glaucoma in which a baby is born with glaucoma.