What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a common disorder which causes damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma has two forms: chronic glaucoma (open-angle) and acute glaucoma (closed-angle). Although glaucoma usually occurs in people older than 45 years, this eye disorder can appear at any age.
The eyeball is filled with fluid which itself is under a certain amount of pressure. This prevents the eye from losing its shape and keeps other elements in place. This fluid is constantly being drained and replenished; new fluid is secreted within the eye while old fluid flows into the bloodstream via inner channels. When this fluid is not allowed to drain at the correct rate, usually due to narrowed or clogged drainage channels, the pressure within the eye rises. This increase in pressure will subsequently affect the optic nerve.
Anyone can suffer from glaucoma. The following factors increase one’s risk of developing it:
- Increased eye pressure
- Age: the older you get, the higher the risk
- High degree myopia
- Certain medication or eye drops
- Optic nerve abnormalities, high blood pressure or trauma to the eye
- People with African roots have a higher risk of developing glaucoma
For more information, make an appointment with one of our experienced doctors.