Understanding How Glaucoma Affects the Eyes

Nov 5, 2021 | Optometry

Understanding How Glaucoma Affects the Eyes

Understanding how glaucoma affects the eyes can be difficult for some patients, as the disease doesn’t have many symptoms. The best way to understand the impact of glaucoma is to assess its causes and different types. But first, here’s a quick refresher course on glaucoma if you need it for explanation purposes.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a type of eye disease that results from damage to your optic nerve, which supports sight. The optic nerve transmits visual information to the brain, so when this becomes damaged, patients can start to gradually lose vision or develop blind spots. If unchecked, glaucoma can eventually cause total vision loss and blindness. The most common types of glaucoma are so concerning because they usually don’t show signs or symptoms besides this gradual loss of vision.

Causes of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is linked with damage to the optic nerve. Nerve damage can occur when there is a buildup of pressure in your eye, also known as an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP). This increase in intraocular pressure can be caused by a few different factors, though doctors don’t yet know all the causes. When drainage in your eye becomes blocked or restricted, your IOP can increase. High blood pressure and poor blood flow to your optic nerve can also cause a heightened IOP. This can be dangerous for those with insulin problems that cause high blood pressure.

How Glaucoma Affects the Eye

As mentioned, glaucoma often shows no symptoms until you start to notice vision loss. There are certain types of glaucoma, such as acute angle closure glaucoma, that make themselves known and are also very serious. If you notice severe eye pain accompanied by nausea, eye redness, sudden vision disturbances, or blurred vision, these could be signs of acute angle closure glaucoma and you should seek your eye doctor immediately. Glaucoma is just another reason to schedule regular eye exams with your local eye doctor. Vision tests and tonometry tests can measure your eye’s capabilities and pressure to monitor and catch early signs of glaucoma.

Because of its few signs and symptoms, it can be difficult for patients to understand how glaucoma affects the eyes. Make sure to stress the importance of regular tonometry tests in your ophthalmology practice for preventing glaucoma. For all your tonometry needs, like disposable tonometer tips, shop with us at Automated Ophthalmics, Inc.