The Types and Treatment of Glaucoma

The Types and Treatment of Glaucoma

Oct 01, 2021

A glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that damage the optic nerve leading to vision loss. The optic nerve is vital in vision since it sends signals from the retina to the brain. The brain creates images based on these signals.

Our optic nerves are damaged when the clear fluid on our eyes called the aqueous humor is blocked or obstructed from leaving the eye through the iris or cornea channels. The natural pressure in the eye, known as Intraocular Pressure (IOP), increases and damages the optic nerve.

Loss of vision begins from the peripheral or side of the eye and moves gradually to the central part of the eye. People with glaucoma vision are advised against activities that require peripheral vision, such as driving. This eye condition is not preventable or curable. If not well controlled, glaucoma leads to permanent, irreversible vision loss and blindness.

Types of Glaucoma

  • Open-Angle/Chronic

This is the most common type of glaucoma and can go undetected for years since most people have no symptoms. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when small deposits build up and slowly clog the drainage canals of the eyes. After several months or years, the deposits cause fluid to build up and increase the Intraocular Pressure.

  • Angle-Closure/Acute-Angle

It is rare glaucoma and occurs suddenly when the angle between the iris and cornea becomes too narrow. This leads to blocking the drainage canals, thereby preventing aqueous humor fluid from leaving the eye and increasing eye pressure. Acute-angle glaucoma requires immediate attention by a glaucoma specialist.

  • Pigmentary

Pigment granules from the iris build up in the drainage channels and block or slow fluid exiting the eye. These granules are stirred by activities such as running and deposited on the trabecular meshwork. This leads to an increase in eye pressure.

  • Congenital

This is a hereditary glaucoma eye condition where some babies are born with poorly formed drainage channels. For other children, this condition may develop in the first few years of life,

  • Normal-Tension

Although glaucoma is associated with high eye pressure, some people with normal eye pressure still get glaucoma. Patients with this type of glaucoma may have sensitive optic nerves or less blood supply to the optic nerve.

Diagnosis of Glaucoma

The ophthalmologist will begin by discussing your personal and family history of glaucoma. Then, a general health assessment will be performed. It will help determine whether health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes affect your eye health.

There are several tests performed at Founders Eye Care to diagnose glaucoma successfully. Some of them are:

  • Tonometry Test

It is a test for measuring intraocular or internal eye pressure.

  • Monitoring Optic Nerve

A dilated eye examination and imaging scan are performed to test for optic nerve damage.

  • A perimetry or Visual Field Test

It checks for areas of vision loss. This test is done to check whether your peripheral or central vision is affected by glaucoma. In addition, it is used to measure the completeness of the field visual and show whether the eye disease is progressing rapidly, slowly, or is stable.

  • Pachymetry Test

This test is for measuring corneal thickness. Patients with thinner corneas than average are at risk of developing glaucoma.

  • Vision Acuity Test

Eye charts are used to check for vision loss.

  • Gonioscopy Test

The glaucoma specialist inspects the drainage angle of your eyes.

Treatment and Management of Glaucoma

Although glaucoma is a chronic and progressive disease that causes some degree of vision loss over time, its progression can be slowed down. When you seek glaucoma treatment in Castle Rock, CO, the ophthalmologist will aim to slow progression and prevent this condition from affecting your quality of life. Unfortunately, treatment cannot restore vision lost due to glaucoma, but the following treatments will help manage glaucoma vision.

  • Glaucoma Eye Drops Or Medication

They decrease eye fluids and increase drainage to alleviate eye pressure. Some prescription medications include:

  • Prostaglandins and Rho Kinase inhibitor. They increase the outflow of aqueous humor fluid in your eyes.
  • Beta-blockers and Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors. They lower intraocular pressure by reducing the production of eye fluid.
  • Laser Treatment

A strong beam of light is used to help improve fluid drainage from your eyes. This treatment complements the use of eye drops.

  • Surgery

This invasive treatment achieves better eye pressure control faster than medication or laser treatment. The type and severity of your glaucoma will determine which type of surgery will successfully slow down the loss of vision. Types of surgeries include filtering surgery, drainage tube surgery, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.

  • Home Remedies

Eye pressure can be controlled at home by:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising safely
  • Sleeping with your head elevated
  • Taking fluids frequently
  • Limiting caffeine intake
303-688-3636 Book Appointment