What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, especially in older populations. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve. Eye pressures, circulation and anatomy are related to damage of this nerve. The optic nerve carries the images we see from the light-sensing retina at the back of the eye to the brain. The optic nerve is like an electric cable containing over a million wires. Each “wire” or nerve fiber carries a message to the brain, and those messages join together to provide vision. Glaucoma can damage nerve fibers and cause blind spots to develop. Glaucoma tests are followed by treatment for glaucoma of the eye and symptoms of optic nerve damage, including eye drops, laser surgery for glaucoma and eye surgery.
What Causes the Damage?
A clear liquid called the aqueous humor continuously flows within the eye. This liquid is not part of the tears on the outer surface of the eye. The production and drainage of aqueous fluid can be compared to a sink with the faucet turned on all the time. If the drainpipe gets clogged, water collects in the sink and pressure builds up. If the drainage angle of the aqueous humor is blocked, the fluid pressure inside the eye can increase and cause damage to the optic nerve. Once the damage has occurred, treatment options like eye drops, eye surgery and laser surgery for glaucoma, including angle closure glaucoma, will be investigated through glaucoma tests and analysis of the glaucoma symptoms experienced by the patient.