welcome to disease section for glaucoma 

Types of glaucoma
Types of glaucoma

The image shows various types of glaucoma such as open angle glaucoma, angle closure glaucoma. The image also shows a healthy optic nerve and damaged optic nerve due to glaucoma. Open angle or chronic type of glaucoma is the most common type in which aqueous fluid drains too slowly and pressure builds-up inside the eye. Acute (angle closure) glaucoma occurs when the drainage system of the eye is blocked which results in unexpected rise in pressure. It requires emergency medical care. Another type of glaucoma is normal-tension glaucoma (NTG). In this, the optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high.

Acute angle closure glaucoma in a patient's eye
Acute angle closure glaucoma in a patient's eye

Close up of acute angle closure glaucoma during eye examination in a glaucoma patient. It is a less common type of glaucoma. Symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma are hazy vision, appearance of rainbow-colored circles around bright lights, severe eye and head pain, sudden sight loss, etc. These symptoms are easily noticeable and damage occurs quickly. Angle-closure glaucoma occurs due to blocked drainage canals in the eye which results in a sudden rise in intraocular pressure. Acute angle closure glaucoma is diagnosed with gonioscopy, tonometry, ophthalmoscopy, etc.

Eye Anatomy
Eye Anatomy

The eye is our organ of sight. It has a number of parts which include such as the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, macula, optic nerve, choroid and vitreous. Glaucoma is a common eye problem. It occurs when the aqueous humor inside the eye does not drain properly, which builds a pressure in the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve leading to vision loss. In several cases, if an injury to the eye neurons occur, glaucoma advances and leads to peripheral vision loss. Glaucoma results in an intrinsic deterioration of the optic nerve.

What you should know about glaucoma?
What you should know about glaucoma?

Learn about glaucoma, risk factors, and available treatment options. Glaucoma is a common eye disorder which results in the damage of optic nerve in the eye causing vision loss and blindness. People with glaucoma often have no symptoms usually in the beginning.  Age, diabetes, hypertension, genetics, etc are common risk factors associated with it. Early treatment helps in saving vision. Use of medicated eye drops, laser procedures and minor surgical procedures are available treatment options which are recommended depending on the type and stage of glaucoma.

Eye with glaucoma
Eye with glaucoma

The picture shows retinal image of left eye in a 76 years old woman with glaucoma. The aqueous humor fills the front part of the eye and leaves through channels in cornea and iris. If these channels are blocked or partially obstructed, the natural pressure in eye (intraocular pressure (IOP)) increases which may damage the optic nerve and results in vision loss. The retina is evaluated and monitored for any changes with time through photographs or scans of the optic nerve. Vision lost is detected with the help of visual acuity measurements or dilated eye exams.  

What causes glaucoma?
What causes glaucoma?

Your eye constantly makes aqueous humor. When new aqueous flows into your eye, the same amount has to drain out through an area called the drainage angle. This keeps pressure in the eye stable. But if the drainage angle is not working properly, fluid starts building up. Pressure inside the eye rises in glaucoma, which causes damage of the optic nerve.

Mechanism of aqueous buildup due to glaucoma
Mechanism of aqueous buildup due to glaucoma

Fluid stays in your eyes causing the builup of pressure called intraocular pressure. This may be because the discharge canal is blocked.

Stages of glaucoma
Stages of glaucoma

Optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma creates a visual field defect. During a routine eye exam, your ophthalmologist may perform visual field testing to determine horizontal and vertical ranges and sensitivity of your vision. The image shows different stages of glaucoma and how your vision is affected in each of these stages.

Drainage angle
Drainage angle

The drainage angle is the location in your eye where the coloured part of your eye (iris) and the white covering over the eye (sclera) meet. This is the location where fluid within the inner eye drains. Blockage of this angle can cause increased pressure in the eye. The increased pressure can damage the optic nerve and cause glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?
What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which fluid pressure within the eye rises. If it is left untreated, the patient may lose his or her vision and can even become blind.