GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma

glaucoma1Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in Canada. It is caused by a gradual pressure increase inside the eye which in turn damages the optic nerve and retinal nerve fiber layer. The internal fluid in your eyes helps to nourish the inner layer of the cornea by constantly flowing in and out of the front chamber of the eye. When the fluid is prevented from flowing out, or if too much is produced, the intraocular pressure builds and damages the optic nerve. This causes a gradual loss in peripheral vision.

 

Symptoms

 

Those suffering from open-angle glaucoma experience a type of tunnel vision, where their field of vision gradually decreases. It can eventually lead to blindness. Narrow-angle glaucoma, which is rare, carries symptoms of sharp pain in the eyes, blurred vision, dilated pupils, and even nausea or vomiting. It can cause blindness in a matter of days, and it requires immediate medical attention.

 

Risk Factors

 

Heredity seems to be a risk factor. Also, you may be at greater risk if you are over 45, of African descent, near-sighted, or diabetic. Finally, if you have used steroids or cortizone for a long period of time, or if you have suffered an eye injury in the past, you have a greater chance of developing glaucoma.