Glaucoma is the greatest culprit for blindness worldwide. This condition damages your vision so slowly and silently that you might not even notice its existence until it has reached a chronic stage. Therefore, it is extremely important to diagnose and treat this disease in time in order to limit its damage.
The only way to do so is by getting your intraocular pressure monitored regularly by your eye doctor. Intraocular pressure plays a key role in diagnosis as glaucoma is not just one medical condition but a set of medical problems of the eye that results the damage of optic nerve.
Types of Glaucoma
There are several types of glaucoma, discussed briefly below:
1. Open-Angled Primary Glaucoma
It is the most common type of glaucoma in which the peripheral vision gradually dies without any other noticeable symptoms. By the time the glaucoma is diagnosed, permanent damage has been done. The damage continues on in the glaucoma until you are left with nothing but a tunnel vision. The tunnel vision then allows you to only see in a straight direction and you lose the 180 degree vision field.
2. Close-Angled Glaucoma
In the close-angled or narrow-angled glaucoma, sudden symptoms are produced like headaches, light halos, eye pain, dilated pupils, red eyes, vision loss, vomiting and nausea. The symptoms last for a while and then return again, with each attack causing more and more vision loss.
3. Normalized Tension Glaucoma
Also known as low-tension, normal-pressure or low-pressure glaucoma, it is an open-angled glaucoma like open-angled primary glaucoma. It can cause loss of visual field, but in this type, the intraocular pressure of the eye remains within the normal range. This is more dangerous amongst the medical problems as there is no pain or symptom to identify the disease until tunnel vision appears.
The cause of this type of glaucoma is not known, except maybe a poor blood flow towards the optic nerve. It is most common in patients with vascular disease, belonging to Japanese ethnicity or females.
4. Pigmentary Glaucoma
Pigmentary glaucoma is very rare out of all the medical problems, which is caused due to clogging of pigment leakage from iris. This pigment then causes the reduction in the rate of aqueous outflow from eye and thus ultimately damaging the drainage system of the eye.
With no possible symptoms except a blurry vision and pain after exercise, this type of glaucoma mostly affects male population within mid thirties and mid forties.
5. Secondary Glaucoma
Secondary glaucoma can occur if you have recently had an eye surgery and are experiencing symptoms of primary glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma can also develop with a presence of inflammation, cataract, eye infection or a tumor.
6. Congenital Glaucoma
It is a form of glaucoma inherited by birth. However, it is the only type of glaucoma that can be diagnosed by the child turns one year old, as the child is born with defects in the eye drainage system. It occurs more in boys as compared to girls. If the parents notice any medical problems like white, cloudy, hazy, protruding or enlarged eye in their child, they should consult an eye doctor immediately.
Even though glaucoma sounds scary, recent research suggests it can be prevented by regular exercise. Exercise can help in reduction of ocular perfusion pressure, which is the mathematical relation between a person’s intraocular pressure and blood pressure.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, eating a healthy diet and maintaining healthy weight, one can reduce the risk of medical problems caused by glaucoma.