Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damages the optic nerve as it carries visual information from the eye to the brain. This damage is often associated with elevated pressure within the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP). Glaucoma can also occur at normal or even lower-than-normal eye pressures.
The two main categories are open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma:
“Open-Angle Glaucoma” is the most common type of glaucoma. It develops gradually and painlessly, typically with no early symptoms. A gradual increase in intraocular pressure leads to damage of the optic nerve over time.
Angle-Closure Glaucoma is more acute. It occurs when the drainage angle between the cornea and the iris becomes blocked, causing a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. Symptoms can include severe eye pain, headache, blurred vision, halos around lights, and nausea. This condition requires immediate medical attention.
Some common risk factors for glaucoma:
Age (older individuals are more susceptible)
Family history of glaucoma
Certain medical conditions (like diabetes and hypertension)
Previous eye injuries
Certain ethnic backgrounds (African, Hispanic, and Asian populations are at higher risk).