Nowadays glaucoma is a very common eye disorder. Patients who have glaucoma suffer from blind spots, also known as ‘visual field defects’. Not all types of glaucoma are the same. The two main categories of glaucoma are open-angle and closed-angle glaucoma.
Nowadays glaucoma is a very common eye disorder. Patients who have glaucoma suffer from blind spots, also known as ‘visual field defects’. Not all types of glaucoma are the same. In open-angle glaucoma, the drainage of the fluid that is normally produced by the eye (aqueous humour) becomes blocked. In closed-angle glaucoma, there is nothing wrong with the drainage system itself, but the iris is blocking the entrance to the drainage canal. Adults who are far-sighted, in particular, tend to develop this type of glaucoma.
Do you have red eyes, blurry vision, headache and nausea? These symptoms may indicate glaucoma. In the beginning, the symptoms often only occur in the evening, but after a while, they become more intense. Starting from the age of 40, the chance of developing glaucoma increases. The reason for this is an unnoticed increase in the intraocular pressure (the pressure inside the eye). This increased pressure may cause irreparable damage to the optic nerve. So, having your intraocular pressure checked once every two years is no unnecessary luxury. And if glaucoma runs in your family, annual check-ups are advised.
This disorder is a result of intraocular pressure that is too high. This occurs when the fluid that the eye normally produces (the aqueous humour) no longer drains away properly. The aqueous humour is necessary to keep the cornea and the lens moist, but this fluid must also be able to be drained away from the eye. If the drainage apparatus does not work optimally, the pressure in the eye may rise to higher than normal levels. This, in turn, may damage the optic nerve. This damage results in blind spots, which we refer to as glaucoma.
When symptoms of glaucoma appear, it is important to take immediate action, because the size of the blind spots can increase rapidly. In the treatment of glaucoma, the emphasis lies on lowering the intraocular pressure using eye drops specifically adapted to your personal situation. Some patients choose a laser treatment—whose effect is temporary—or eye surgery in the most severe cases.
An advanced, less invasive way to treat glaucoma is with the gel stent, a very small implant made of soft, gelatinous material. The stent is placed in the eye as a way of creating a new, permanent drainage route to reduce the amount of fluid in the eye. This helps preserve the eyesight by bringing the pressure in the eye back to normal levels.
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