Glaucoma is sometimes known as the silent thief of sight for the way it slowly and surreptitiously causes vision loss. According to the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada, more than 400,000 Canadians are dealing with the effects of glaucoma. The best way to protect yourself is through knowledge. The team at Airdrie Family Eye Doctors is here to educate you and help preserve your eyesight.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common, occurring when the angle between the cornea and the iris is wide enough to facilitate drainage of the aqueous humour. This indicates there may be some kind of blockage or build-up in the drainage ducts. Open-angle glaucoma develops slowly over a long period of time.
This type of glaucoma is rare but dangerous. When the angle between the iris and the cornea suddenly closes, the aqueous humour becomes trapped and suddenly fills the space, causing damage to the optic nerve as the IOP rises.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma happens very suddenly, and unlike the other types of glaucoma, causes intense symptoms. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, extreme headache, extreme eye pain, excessive tears, blurred vision, and glare or halos around lights.
This type of glaucoma is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical help right away.
Normal tension glaucoma is also quite rare, and is easily the most baffling type of glaucoma. In normal tension cases, the angle between the iris and the cornea is wide enough to facilitate drainage, and the ducts appear to be functioning properly; the aqueous humour is flowing properly, and IOP seems to be normal, but the optic nerve still sustains damage. Doctors continue to research this condition, but no concrete explanation has yet been found.
The name glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases which cause damage to the optic nerve. These diseases are usually associated with intraocular pressure or IOP, but not always.
The space between your cornea and your iris is filled with a fluid called the aqueous humour. The aqueous humour should always be flowing; filling and draining from the space simultaneously. IOP refers to the pressure caused by the amount of fluid that is consistently filling that space between the iris and the cornea at any given time.
The vast majority of glaucoma cases do not show any symptoms aside from vision loss. The vision loss caused by glaucoma is typically so slow that patients do not even realise it’s happening. Once this damage has been done, however, it cannot be undone, and the vision the patient has lost is lost forever.
The good news is that vision loss can be delayed or prevented if caught early. All of our eye health exams include glaucoma testing; giving you the best chance of early detection and treatment.
Airdrie Family Eye Doctors are located on main street south of the Tower Lane Mall Safeway. Come “see” us today! Or, feel free to call our clinic phone number.
705 Main St S, Suite 150
Airdrie, AB T4B 3M2