Glaucoma is a disease ocular characterized by increased intraocular pressure, optic disc atrophy, hardness of the eyeball and blindness. The term derives from Latin glaucoma which, in turn, comes from a Greek word that means “light green”. This reference is related to the coloration that the pupil acquires due to this condition.
This degenerative neuropathy of the optic nerve fibers can be sharp or chronicle. It is worth mentioning that the optic nerve is responsible for carrying visual information from the eye to the brain and that, according to the severity of glaucoma, it can be noticed by a decrease in vision or some other problem in sight. It is essential that this disorder be treated with some urgency to avoid irreversible damage to the nerve, such as the partial or total loss of the vision.
Glaucoma is associated with high intraocular pressure. In any case, it is important to note that the low or high levels depend on each person. A subject with high intraocular pressure may not develop glaucoma, while another person, with the same pressure, may suffer from this disorder.
As statistics show, this disease is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States.
Types of glaucoma
Specialists distinguish between various types of glaucoma; here we present the most common ones.
The open angle glaucoma is characterized by no symptoms and is caused by an obstruction of the aqueous humor, a clear liquid that flows through the eye from the front to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cornea. This fluid is produced in the back of the eye and is distributed through tiny channels towards the front known as the angle. In this type of glaucoma there are accumulations within these channels that impede the flow of this fluid and consequently cause a increased intraocular pressure. It is a chronic and generally hereditary disease.
The angle-closure glaucoma or acute, is one that is produced by the sudden increase in intraocular pressure. This type of glaucoma causes discomfort, blurred vision and can cause irreversible blindness in a very short period of time. It is also accompanied by intense pain in this organ. It is a emergency situation in which it is essential to see a specialist; It is worth mentioning that those people who have suffered this type of glaucoma in one of their eyes should carry out preventive treatments so that the same does not happen to them in the other. Many times this problem is caused by an exaggerated use of drops that help dilation and certain medications.
Specialists say that half of people who have glaucoma are not aware of it. Those with family members who suffered from glaucoma are the more likely to develop the disorder.
The congenital glaucoma It is a disease that is transmitted from parents to children and that can be detected when the child is still a baby by observing an abnormal development in the eye organ.
The secondary glaucoma It is one of the least serious and its causes can be the abuse of drugs similar to corticosteroids, certain systemic diseases or trauma.
To be able to detect this disorder it is essential perform a series of tests and exams that consist of applying a few drops to the eyes to widen the pupil and look closely inside the eye to notice malformations or other effects caused by glaucoma.
There is also a exam which is known as tonometry that serves to know the pressure of the eye; In any case, this test is not entirely accurate because the pressure in the eye can change constantly and in some people with glaucoma this pressure is normal. Therefore, to know exactly if it is a disorder of this type, it is essential that all series of tests and scans are carried out to rule out any other disease.