What is Glaucoma?
There are many types of glaucoma, but all relate to damage of the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain’s visual processing centre. Glaucoma’s most common cause is high pressure within the eye itself. By far the most common type is called open-angle glaucoma
In most glaucoma cases, sight is slowly lost, starting with peripheral vision. While this process can be stopped with medical intervention, the damage is permanent.
Closed-angle glaucoma is a more severe kind. It can in turn lead to angle-closure glaucoma which is a sudden and serious medical emergency.
Risk of glaucoma is elevated:
- following prolonged steroid use
- if diabetic retinopathy is present
- after physical damage to the eyes
- if there is a family history of the disease
- in people of Asian and Inuit heritage
While glaucoma has been known to medicine since at least the 1500s, the precise way that high pressure within the eye triggers the disease has not yet been identified conclusively.