Glaucoma, also known as “the silent thief of sight”, is an eye disease that happens when your eye fluids fail to drain efficiently, resulting in high intraocular pressure (IOP) levels. Without immediate management, this may lead to optic nerve compression and damage. Read on as your eye doctor from Advanced Eyecare Consultants discusses this condition as we observe Glaucoma Awareness Month this January.
Likely Cause and Risk Factors
There is an angle in between your cornea and iris. This is where your eye fluids normally drain to keep your IOP stable. Any obstructions or structural irregularities, however, may impair the fluid emptying process. This may result in eye fluid build-up and increased IOP.
High IOP can compress your optic nerve and eventually result in its damage. Not only will you experience vision problems, you’re also at a greater risk of losing your sense of sight. While this condition may happen to anyone at any age, your optometrist explains that individuals 40 years and above are more likely to have this problem. Heredity is another major risk factor for its development.
Glaucoma is generally classified as either narrow-angle or wide-angle. The latter, also referred to as open glaucoma, develops when your eye fluids fail to empty even if the angle doesn’t have any obstructions. This type is usually asymptomatic in the beginning. As the condition progresses, however, you may start noticing changes in your vision.
Narrow-angle or close glaucoma, on the other hand, happens when something blocks the drainage channel, resulting in uncontrolled eye fluid build-up. This may cause your IOP to increase, compressing your optic nerve. You may see halos around lights and your vision may turn blurry. Your peripheral visual acuity may also be diminished, which is also known as “tunnel syndrome.” Your eye doctor explains that this type of glaucoma is commonly associated with vision loss as well.
For more information about glaucoma, call us at (847) 550-3524 for Lake Zurich or (847) 979-4601 for Libertyville. We serve Barrington and nearby Illinois communities. Don’t forget to check the last installment of this two-part blog to learn about our recommended glaucoma management.