Glaucomas are a grouping of optic neuropathies typified by the progressive retinal ganglion cells’ degeneration. They are central nervous system’s (CNS) neurons whose cell bodies are located in the optic nerve’s inner retina and axons. The aforementioned nerves’ degeneration typically leads to visual loss and cupping, a typical optic disc’s appearance. The biological cause of glaucoma is not well understood and the features triggering its progression have not been characterized adequately (Imrie & Tatham, 2016). The paper presents an in-depth discussion of the symptoms, etiology, and treatment options associated with the disorder mentioned above.
There are two primary glaucoma types – angle-closure and open-angle glaucoma – with different clinical manifestations. Open-angle glaucoma’s symptoms include the gradual peripheral vision loss, often in the left and right eye, and tunnel vision during the advanced phases. The presentations of acute angle-closure glaucoma include serious or acute eye pain, vomiting, nausea, abrupt onset of visual disturbance, especially under low light, blurry vision, and eye reddening. Medical conditions such as diabetes and eye-related issues, family history, age, and ethnicity are the major risk factors associated with glaucoma.
Glaucoma occurs as a result of the degeneration of the optic nerve. Blind spots typically develop in one’s visual field as the nerve mentioned above deteriorates gradually. Glaucoma typically runs in families, and according to Jonas et al. (2017), the researchers have distinguished genes associated with optic nerve deterioration and elevated eye pressure. Jonas et al. (2017) relate the optic nerve’s destruction to the increased eye pressure. High eye pressure is due to aqueous humor’s build up – a fluid flowing throughout the inside part of the eye.
Preserving life quality and lowering the disorder’s progression are the primary glaucoma treatment objectives. Intraocular pressure reduction is the only proven treatment approach for glaucoma (Imrie & Tatham, 2016). Depending on the patient’s situation, some of the treatment options may include the use of prescription eye drops such as prostaglandins and beta-blockers, surgery, laser treatment, oral medications, or a combination of any of the methods mentioned above.
To sum up, glaucoma is a grouping of eye diseases characterized by few manifestations in their early phases, which ultimately triggers the optic nerve damage, which can subsequently cause complete blindness or vision loss. Glaucoma emerges as a consequence of the optic nerve’s degeneration, and its treatment approach involves reducing intraocular pressure. The timely diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma are crucial due to the decrease in life quality.
Imrie, C. & Tatham, J. A. (2016). Glaucoma: The patient’s perspective. British Journal of General Practice, 66 (646), e371–e373. Web.
Jonas, J. B., Aung, T., Bourne, R. R., Bron, A. M., Ritch, R., & Panda-Jonas, S. (2017). Glaucoma. The Lancet, 390(10108), 2183–2193. Web.