GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma is an ophthalmic disease characterized by progressive loss of vision. In glaucoma there is a damage to the optic nerve often associated with high intraocular pressure. In the early stages the peripheral vision is affected and lost, progressing to permanent vision loss in the late stages if left untreated. The main risks factors of glaucoma are aging, family history, steroid use, trauma and diabetes.

There are different types of glaucoma. In open angle glaucoma (most common) the drainage system of the eye is not working properly causing a slow increase in the eye pressure. In closed angle glaucoma the drainage system of the eye is closed causing a high raise in the eye pressure. When this happens abruptly and very fast we have what we call acute angle closure glaucoma which is an ophthalmic emergency. Other types of glaucoma are the normal tension glaucoma, the secondary glaucoma and congenital glaucoma.

Glaucoma treatment is medical and surgical. All the treatments are used to decrease the intraocular pressure. Eyedrops, pills, lasers and surgery are used to decrease the intraocular pressure by decreasing the production of the eye fluid called aqueous humor or by increasing the outflow of this fluid. Because the loss of vision in glaucoma is irreversible all glaucoma patients need close monitoring with frequent ophthalmology visits and tests to monitor for disease progression treatment success.