Senior woman getting eye exam

January 2, 2020

Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve, which carries information from your eyes to your brain. This disease is the leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

No matter your age, it’s good to know the types of glaucoma and ask your eye doctor for a regular checkup.

Here’s what you need to know about this eye disease.

What causes the pressure

Liquid fills the space between the front of your eye and the lens inside your eye, nourishing your eye and keeping it pressurized. This liquid is constantly being produced and refreshed. When the liquid has trouble draining, this causes pressure inside the eye.

This pressure turns into glaucoma when too much pressure damages the optic nerve.

The two main types of glaucoma

There are several types of glaucoma. Here are two common types.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of this disease and happens when the liquid drains too slowly. This type of glaucoma is painless and sometimes even unnoticeable at first. Get regular eye exams to find the early signs of primary open-angle glaucoma.

Angle-closure glaucoma happens when someone’s iris blocks the drainage angle in their eye, keeping liquid from properly draining. Eye pressure raises quickly when the drainage is completely blocked. Signs include blurry vision, severe eye pain, headaches, nausea, and vomit. Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms, as angle-closure glaucoma can cause blindness if not treated right away.

How to treat glaucoma

While there are treatment options for glaucoma, they cannot restore vision already lost to the disease. But there are ways to stop it from progressing. Treatment options include medications or surgery. Ask your doctor about the best option for your eyes.

Remember, some types of glaucoma are painless and come unexpectedly. Schedule regular eye exams to keep your eyes in check.

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