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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a set of conditions which results in damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is located at the back of the eye, and it transmits visual signals from the eye to the brain helping in visualization. Damage to the optic nerve could result in blindness. In glaucoma, the optic nerve is often damaged by an unusually high pressure exerted on it. This damage to the optic nerve could ultimately result in blindness. 

Glaucoma is also said to be the leading cause of blindness in adults. In a few types of glaucoma, the patient shows undetectable to no symptoms. The impact is steady to such an extent that it would not be noticed until the condition is at a serious stage.

What are the symptoms of Glaucoma?

  • Loss of vision

  • Blurry vision

  • Persistent headache 

  • Eye redness 

  • Stomach upset, nausea and vomiting

  • Pain in the eye

  • Early Presbyopia

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Causes of Glaucoma

  • Build-up of aqueous humor inside the eye

  • Genetic reasons

  • Birth defects

  • Blunt or chemical injury

  • Acute eye infection

  • Blockage by blood vessels inside the eye

  • Inflammatory conditions

  • In rare cases, previous eye surgeries

Types of Glaucoma

What is Congenital Glaucoma? Congenital Glaucoma otherwise known as childhood glaucoma, infantile glaucoma or pediatric glaucoma...


What is Lens Induced Glaucoma? With the damage to the optic nerve, lens induced glaucoma...


What is Malignant Glaucoma? Malignant Glaucoma was first described by Graefe in 1869 as an...


What is Secondary Glaucoma? Let’s try to understand this a little better. The frontal region...


Glaucoma is a well-known eye disease that damages the optic nerves and may eventually result...


Glaucoma is an eye condition which causes damage to optic nerve. It is one of...


Glaucoma Risk Factors

You are most likely to get glaucoma if you:

  • Are you over 60 years of age

  • Have high internal eye pressure

  • Have a family member diagnosed with glaucoma

  • Have certain conditions like diabetes, heart conditions, sickle cell anaemia and high blood pressure.

  • Have thin corneas

  • Have extreme conditions of nearsightedness or farsightedness

  • Have had eye injuries, surgeries

  • Taking corticosteroid medications for a long time


Glaucoma Prevention

Taking a look at the glaucoma cure, it cannot be fully cured. However, early diagnosis could help in controlling it.
Some of the best ways to ensure we detect glaucoma early are

  • To have eye checkups often

  • To be aware of your family’s medical history

  • Keeping fit and eating healthy

  • Protecting your eyes while performing tasks that could cause injuries to the eye

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How common is glaucoma disease?

Glaucoma is a common eye disease that leads to the damage of the optic nerve. This damage to the optic nerve, which transmits information from the eyes to the brain, results in vision loss. If not treated properly, visual loss may be temporary or permanent. A change in the eye’s internal fluid pressure, also known as intraocular pressure (IOP), is the most common cause of Glaucoma.

Glaucoma affects around 70 million individuals globally. In 2020, glaucoma disease will affect over 80 million individuals worldwide, with the number anticipated to rise to over 111 million by 2040. Glaucoma is the main cause of irreversible blindness, accounting for 12.3% of all blindness worldwide.

Below we have given an insight into both these two types of glaucoma:

  • Open angle glaucoma: The most prevalent type of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma. It has no symptoms at first; however, side (peripheral) vision is lost at some time, and without treatment, a person can become completely blind.
  • Closed angle glaucoma: Angle-closure glaucoma, also known as closed angle glaucoma, is a less prevalent kind of glaucoma. It happens when the drainage system in the eye gets fully obstructed, causing the pressure inside the eye to rapidly rise.


Glaucoma can be inherited in some cases, and many experts around the world are researching genes and their effects on the disease. Glaucoma is not always hereditary, and the circumstances that lead to the beginning of the illness are yet to be fully understood.

The measurement of eye pressure is in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). The typical range for eye pressure is 12-22 mm Hg, while pressures more than 22 mm Hg are considered abnormal. Glaucoma is not caused by high eye pressure alone. It is, nonetheless, a considerable risk factor. Individuals with high eye pressure should get comprehensive eye exams by an eye care specialist on a regular basis to screen for signs of glaucoma.

Unfortunately, there is no glaucoma cure, and the vision loss resulted due to it is irreversible. If someone suffers from open-angle glaucoma, it has to be monitored for the rest of their life.

However, it is possible to slow down or stop additional vision loss using the medication, laser treatment, and surgery. The most important thing to remember here is that the first step in preserving your vision is to get a diagnosis. So, never ignore it if you experience any discomfort in your vision.

When the classic optic nerve and vision alterations occur, glaucoma disease is diagnosed, usually with raised eye pressure but rarely with normal pressure. Ocular hypertension occurs when the intraocular pressure is higher than usual, but the person does not display indications of glaucoma.

If not treated adequately in the early stages of glaucoma disease, it can severely affect the peripheral vision, leading to a condition known as ‘tunnel vision. Tunnel vision eliminates your ‘side vision,’ limiting your field of view to images in your central vision or straight ahead.

If you feel that you are experiencing any glaucoma symptoms, it can be detected during a full dilated eye examination. The examination is straightforward and painless: your doctor will dilate (widen) your pupil with eye drops before checking your eyes for glaucoma and other eye issues.

A visual field test is included in the exam to examine your side vision. People with a family history of glaucoma should have their eye pressure and optic nerves tested frequently since they are at a higher risk of developing the condition.


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