Understanding Familial Glaucoma

Learning about Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma? There are no symptoms at the initial stage of the eye disease. It’s being asymptomatic that makes this eye disease really scary. You gradually lose your vision with Glaucoma. The eye disease can cause blindness without proper treatment. The good thing is that when you have regular eye check-ups, it can be detected early and treated properly. It is Familial Glaucoma because if your family member has the eye disease, the more chances that you can be afflicted by it.

How Our Eye Functions

Our eye is protected by Sclera which is a tough white covering. The delicate and clear membrane that covers the Sclera is called the Conjunctiva. The clear part of the covering of the eye that lets in the light is called the Cornea. The part of the eye that is colored black, blue, green, depending on the race of the human which contracts expands and contracts so the pupil will let in the correct amount of light into the eye. The function of the lens is to focus the light on the retina which is lining at the backside of the eye. The Retina transports the images to the brain passing through the optic nerve.

It is Important for the Eye Drainage to be in Good Health

The facade of the eye is brimming with clear fluid. The clear fluid is called aqueous humor or Intraocular fluid which is produced by the ciliary body. The clear fluid streams out through the pupil and absorbed into the circulatory system. Eye pressure should be at a normal level and this is accomplished through proper drainage. The drainage, flow, production of the clear fluid is important for the health of the eye.

The eye pressure develops due to the blockage in the drainage canals. Optic nerve damage is the result.

Vision Loss with Glaucoma

The drainage system of the eye has a blockage in most types of Glaucoma. The intraocular fluid can’t drain because the drainage system is clogged. The pressure inside the eye is formed when the fluid starts to build up. The sensitive optic nerve is damaged with high pressure and results in loss of vision.

The occurrence of Glaucoma is usually in both eyes, however, excessive fluid pressure often begins to develop in one eye first. The damage in the eyes may cause slowly progressing visual changes and vision loss. The usual case is that the peripheral sight is affected first, so the effect may be asymptomatic and you may notice it only in its advanced stages. As time passes by, it will also affect your central vision.

People Who Have Higher Risk to Be Afflicted by Glaucoma

1). 60 years old and above
2.) African American or those who are of African Descent
3.) Relatives of those patients with Glaucoma
4.) Older age groups with Hispanic Descent
5.) Severe nearsightednes
6.) Those who abuse the use of steroids
7.) Asian Descent
8.) Those who have thin or narrow central cornea

The Main Types of Glaucoma

  • Open-Angle Glaucoma – It is the most common type of Glaucoma. The drainage canals are slowly clogging which results in eye pressure. This type of Glaucoma has an open and wide angle between the cornea and the iris. The symptoms of this type of eye disease are unnoticeable.

  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma – This type of eye disease is rare. The blocked drainage canals result in an immediate increase in intraocular pressure. There’s a narrow or closed angle between the cornea and iris. The development of the disease is very quick. The damage and symptoms are noticeable. Immediate medical attention is needed with this type of Glaucoma.

The Other Kinds of Glaucoma

Numerous types of Glaucoma are variations of angle-closure and open-angle eye disease. This can happen to one or both of your eyes.

  1. Secondary Glaucoma – This Glaucoma may have resulted with abuse of steroids use, tumor, eye injury, inflammation, diabetes or cataract.

  2. Pigmentary Glaucoma – This type of eye disease is considered to be a secondary Glaucoma. It’s also considered to be Open-Angle Glaucoma. Pigment granules at the back of the iris break and proceed into the clear fluid that’s made inside the eye. These granules proceed forward and clog the drainage canals and cause an increase in eye pressure. Some of the treatment for this type of Glaucoma are filtering surgery, medication or laser surgery.

  3. Normal-tension Glaucoma – The optic nerve is injured to total damage even if the intraocular pressure didn’t increase significantly. It is unknown how and why it happens.

  4. Congenital Glaucoma – It may be an incomplete or a defect in the development of the drainage canals of the eye during the prenatal period. It may be inherited and is a rare condition

  5. Exfoliative Glaucoma – This happens when the outer layer of the lens in the eye peels off because of dandruff like or flaky materials.

  6. Neovascular Glaucoma – This is a type of open-angle Glaucoma. It is mostly associated with diabetes. New blood vessels on the on the drainage channels and on the iris have an abnormal formation.

  7. Uveitic Glaucoma – The middle layer of the eye, which is called uvea, has inflammation and swelling.

  8. Traumatic Glaucoma – This Glaucoma is caused by injury to the eye. It may develop immediately or occur years later.

Extensive Diagnostic Exams on Glaucoma

It’s true that Glaucoma can be treated after early detection. There are so many diagnostic exams because the doctors consider so many factors. Glaucoma Specialists are needed for hard to diagnose eye conditions. It’s best to have the second opinion from other specialists to know proper diagnosis and progress.

Glaucoma can be controlled with proper treatment and medication. It’s an ongoing process. Long-term care is needed with Glaucoma. The patients are expected to follow the plan of treatment to control the eye pressure. The optic nerve will be protected and loss of sight will be avoided through proper long-term treatment.


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