What Causes Glaucoma? Unveiling the Factors Behind this Eye Condition
Glaucoma is not just one eye condition, but a group of eye conditions that can lead to damage to the optic nerve, resulting primarily in visual loss. This damage is usually caused by an abnormally high amount of pressure in your eye. Let’s delve into understanding the causes and risk factors of this serious eye condition.
To decode what causes Glaucoma, we need to first understand what it is in greater detail. The key types of Glaucoma are Open-angle and Angle-closure, each having its set of symptoms. Over time, Glaucoma progressively worsens, affecting peripheral vision before eventually leading to total blindness, if left untreated.
The Causes Behind Glaucoma
The predominant cause of Glaucoma is increased eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure. This increased pressure is often associated with the accumulation of aqueous humor, a fluid in the front part of the eye. When the channels responsible for draining this fluid get blocked, or there’s an imbalance in the production and drainage, the pressure rises, potentially leading to Glaucoma.
Risk Factors for Glaucoma
Though anyone can develop Glaucoma, some people are more prone to this condition. The risk factors include age (individuals over 60), ethnicity (people with African, Hispanic, or Asian descent), a family history of Glaucoma, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Cases of high myopia (nearsightedness) and eye injuries or sustained use of corticosteroid (particularly eye drops) have also been linked with Glaucoma.
Completely preventing Glaucoma may not be possible, but regular eye exams can aid in early detection, minimizing the risk of severe vision loss. Moreover, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress on your eyes, and managing chronic diseases can help keep your eyes healthy.
Thankfully, several treatment options can slow or prevent vision loss in people with Glaucoma. From medication (pills and eye drops), laser treatment (like trabeculoplasty or iridotomy), to surgery (such as trabeculectomy or drainage implants), the chosen treatment primarily depends on the type and severity of Glaucoma.
There are many causes and risk factors associated with Glaucoma, from age and ethnicity to health conditions and lifestyle. Regular eye exams can help spot the signs early and slow the progression of the disease. So, while understanding what causes Glaucoma is essential, remember, early detection saves vision!