Glaucoma is a term that is used to describe a number of different eye conditions; all these conditions affect vision. Glaucoma is more common in older people; it affects 1 in 50 people aged over 40. There are four main types of glaucoma; these include:
- Open angle glaucoma: this is caused by the tiny tubes inside the eye becoming blocked; this means fluid cannot drain from the eye; this can cause damage to the nerves attached to the retina
- Acute angle closure glaucoma: this occurs when there is a narrowing of the angle between the iris and the sclera; this often causes severe pain as huge pressure is placed on the eye
- Secondary glaucoma: this is caused by a different condition or as a result of an injury to the eye
- Developmental glaucoma: this is caused by an abnormal eyeball; it is very rare and usually develops from birth
Symptoms of glaucoma
Often, people with open angle glaucoma do not have any symptoms but they may gradually notice that their eye sight is deteriorating; this is why it’s important for people to have regular eye tests. Symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma include redness in the eyes, severe, sudden pain, headaches and tenderness around the eyes. Symptoms of developmental glaucoma include sensitivity to light, a squint and having watery and cloudy eyes.
It is important to visit your optometrist or optician regularly as the damage caused to your vision by glaucoma cannot be corrected. If the condition is diagnosed early, it may be possible to treat the symptoms using eye drops and medication; medications may be used to reduce the amount of fluid produced by the eyes and reduce pressure on the eyes.