Eye Deceases

(H40-H42) Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve gets damaged. Glaucoma is the main cause of blindness in a majority of people. This disease can affect anybody at any age which includes young children and adults too.

ICD-10 H40.-H42.
ICD-9 365
DiseasesDB 5226
eMedicine oph / 578
MeSH D005901

What Causes Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the fluids from the eye are blocked and cannot flow freely; this causes the intraocular pressure to build up in the eye. Over a couple of months or years, the elevated IOP tends to damage the optic nerve which leads to glaucoma.

Glaucoma Symptoms and Signs

Glaucoma symptoms cannot be noticed at an early stage of the disease. Unfortunately, blurred or impaired vision is the first symptom of glaucoma. In other cases, signs and symptoms of glaucoma includes, red eyes, nausea, pain in the eye, haloed vision or clouded and headaches.

Glaucoma Diagnosis

Regular eye examinations are very important to check for glaucoma. An ophthalmologist evaluates the optic nerve (ophthalmolscopy), tests the eye’s drainage angle (gonioscopy), test the visual field of both eyes (perometry) and measures eye pressure (tonometry). The examinations are checked and compared at frequent intervals to know how much glaucoma damage has affected. Going for regular examinations are very important as it helps to detect glaucoma at an early stage.

Glaucoma Treatment

There are treatments for glaucoma but no cure. This can be categorized into two: surgery and medication. Using both these treatments, they help to stabilize the disease by decreasing the intraocular pressure. Eye drops and medications are some of the common remedies to treat glaucoma, but in the later stage there are chances of side effects. If IOP cannot be stabilized by medication or eye drops, then a surgery is suggested which again depends on the glaucoma. The main outcome of the surgery is to drain the intraocular fluid by stretching the drainage area which already exists. Thus, a new outlet is created for the fluid to drain.

Glaucoma Types

There are many types of glaucoma and all of these damage the optic nerve. The most common ones are listed below:-

  • Open - Angle Glaucoma occurs when the angle between the iris and the cornea where the fluid drains, but it drains very slowly.
  • Closed - Angle Glaucoma occurs when there is a blockage in the drainage angle by the iris and it doesn’t allow the fluid to drain from the eye.
  • Normal - Tension occurs in people with normal intraocular pressure and the treatment is the same as the open-angle glaucoma.
  • Congential Glaucoma occurs when an infant is born by birth with this defect. In this it slows the drainage of the fluid from the eye.