GLAUCOMA – Part 2

by / Tuesday, 07 July 2015 / Published in Eye Care

Last month we talked about the most common type of glaucoma called open-angle glaucoma. Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases and conditions that cause vision loss and blindness, so while open-angle glaucoma is the most common, it is only one of a variety of glaucoma conditions.

Keep in mind that even open-angle glaucoma can happen to anyone regardless of age. In fact, you can get open-angle glaucoma even if you have none of the known risk factors – which is why optometrists encourage all people to get comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis. Screening is your best defense against all types of glaucoma.

 

OTHER TYPES OF GLAUCOMA

Remember that glaucoma is characterized by eye pressure, and that different people can tolerate different levels of pressure. Pressure in the eye can be caused by a variety of factors as well, which is one of the reasons why there are so many types of glaucoma. All types of glaucoma lead to vision loss or blindness.

 

  • Neovascular glaucoma. This glaucoma is part of a group of secondary glaucomas – in which the glaucoma itself is actually a result of another disease or condition. In this case, neovascular glaucoma is caused by diabetes or high blood pressure.

 

  • Low-tension and normal-tension glaucoma. With these types of glaucomas optic nerve damage and narrow side vision can occur – even if you have normal eye pressure. It is important to get not only a comprehensive eye exam to screen for these types of glaucomas, but also a comprehensive medical history, since other factors like low-blood pressure can contribute to the disease or make it worse over time.

 

  • Angle-closure glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. If you are experiencing symptoms such as: severe pain, nausea, redness of the eye, and blurred vision, then you need to seek immediate medical attention. People with this type of glaucoma have a sudden increase in eye pressure cause by a blockage in the angle of their eye through which fluid normally drains. The angle gets blocked by part of the iris. With prompt laser surgery doctors can work to clear the blockage and protect your vision.

 

  • Congenital glaucoma. Glaucoma is often associated with the senior population, but it can also affect children. In the case of congenital glaucoma children are born with the condition. The fluid in their eye does not drain normally due to a congenital defect in the angle of their eye. The symptoms are often apparent: cloudy eyes, excessive tearing, and sensitivity to light are all signs your child may have congenital glaucoma. For children surgery is a safe and effective way to remedy congenital glaucoma. Medicines are not recommended as they can cause serious side effects.

 

  • Pigmentary glaucoma and pseudoexfoliation glaucoma. In each case the meshwork of the eye is blocked and the fluid of the eye drains slowly. Pigmentary glaucoma is when pigment from the iris sheds off and creates the blockage. Pseudoexfoliation glaucoma occurs when other material of the eye sheds and causes the blockage. Both of these glaucomas are considered secondary glaucomas and are the result of other conditions such as surgery or serious eye injury.

 

  • Secondary glaucomas. Sometimes glaucomas are caused by other conditions or diseases we have. Diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure can cause glaucoma, as can cataracts, certain eye tumors, and uveitis. Surgeries, eye injuries, and steroid drugs can also result in secondary glaucoma.

 

For more detailed information about all types of glaucoma please visit:

https://www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glaucoma/basics/definition/con-20024042

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam and to find out more about glaucoma and its treatment please call Redding’s family-focused optometrist, Kristi Davis O.D., at 530-222-7271.

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