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What is Glaucoma Disease by YeKishia Simpson

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Glaucoma is one leading cause of blindness in the United States of America. Glaucoma consists of many complexities that require different approaches to the condition.  This disease damages the eyes so gradually, that vision changes go unnoticed until it is in the advanced stage. The disease affects the optic nerve of the eye which becomes damaged when intraocular pressure of the eye (high pressure) is untreated. It is to be understood that intraocular pressure is not the only cause of damage. As with any disease, early diagnoses can prevent or limit damage to the eyes so understanding the symptoms can give anyone a head start with recovery.

The several types of Glaucoma are normal tension, angle-closure, primary-open-angle, developmental, and pigmentary glaucoma. The two common types of Glaucoma are primary open-angle and angle-closure which have different symptoms entirely. Primary open-angle symptoms include a gradual loss of peripheral vision, mostly in both eyes. In the advanced stages, the person struggles with seeing objects or light in the peripheral areas similar to tunnel vision. During tests, the patient will focus on a centered point and signal when randomized flashes of light are perceived called a Visual Field Testing. In open-angle glaucoma drainage angle formed by the iris and cornea remains open. The trabecular meshwork or drainage channels are partially blocked, causing the liquid to drain slowly.

The acute angle-closure symptoms include eye pain, blurred vision, reddening of the eye, halos around lights, and nausea and vomiting accompanied by severe eye pain. This occurs when the iris bulges outward to narrow or block the drainage angle structured by the cornea and iris. When the fluid can’t properly flow out of the eye, the pressure begins to increase abruptly. People with abnormal narrow drainage angles are at high risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma.

Glaucoma can be diagnosed in some infants and rare cases some children are born with it because Glaucoma can affect an individual at any stage in life. This is congenital glaucoma which develops in the early years of life. Between the ages of four and five, a child can be diagnosed with juvenile glaucoma and the child will see no symptoms. Despite not having symptoms the child will likely have optic nerve damage which may be caused by fluid buildup. An early examination of the eyes is essential for minimizing damage to the optic nerve.

Medicinal treatments used by many patients are eye drops, used to decrease the eye pressure by helping the fluid drain better. Side effects of the eye drop medication include a change in the iris color and changes in the growth of eyelashes. It decreases the amount of fluid made by the eye which alleviates eye pressure. Laser treatment is a beneficial alternative for individuals who struggle with taking daily dosages. The effect of the laser treatment is not permanent and will at some point require medication. Doctors do believe that it can be inherited, meaning it is passed from parents to children.





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