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Glaucoma is an eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve conducts visual information from the eyes to the brain. Glaucoma is generally caused due to the high pressure inside the eye which can damage the optic nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision or even blindness.

Types of Glaucoma:

Glaucoma has been classified into five major types which are as follows:

Open angle (chronic) Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma which shows no signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss. This loss may be so slow that the vision can suffer permanent damage.

Angle closure (acute) Glaucoma: Blockage in the flow of the aqueous humor causes the rapid buildup of the fluid which may cause a severe, painful increase in the pressure. Angle closure glaucoma is an emergency situation and a doctor must be consulted immediately if a person is experiencing nausea, severe pain, and blurred vision.

Congenital Glaucoma: Children may have a defect in the angle of their eye which prevents slow or normal fluid drainage if they are born with congenital glaucoma. It shows the symptoms like cloudy eyes, excessive tearing, or sensitivity to light.

Secondary Glaucoma: This type of glaucoma generally occurs as a side effect of injury or any other eye conditions like cataract or eye tumors. Medicines like corticosteroids may also lead to the development of secondary glaucoma.

Normal tension Glaucoma: Sometimes optic nerve may get damaged even when the eye pressure is within the normal range.

Risk factors for Glaucoma:

Some of the leading risk factors involved in the development of glaucoma are as follows:

Age: National Eye Institute (NEI) warns that people over 60 are at great risk of glaucoma and this risk factor increases with each year of age.

Ethnicity: It has been observed that African-American or people of African descent are more likely to develop Glaucoma than Caucasians. People of Asian descent tend to develop Angle Closure glaucoma more frequently while people of Japanese descent are at high risk of developing low-tension glaucoma.

Eye problems: Sometimes chronic eye inflammation, physical injury or trauma and thin corneas can also cause increased pressure in the eyes.

Family history: A person with a family history of glaucoma is at an increased risk of developing the disease.

Medical history: People with medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are at great risk for developing glaucoma.

Use of certain medicines: Excessive use of medicines like corticosteroids may lead to the development of secondary glaucoma.

Symptoms of Glaucoma:

Open angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma which shows no signs or symptoms except gradual vision loss. Thus it becomes necessary to visit an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist so that they can monitor any changes in the vision.

Any person suffering from acute angle closure glaucoma (also known as narrow angle glaucoma) must visit an ophthalmologist or an eye specialist immediately as it is a case of medical emergency and the person might be experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Redness in the eye
  • Sudden vision disturbances
  • Sudden blurred vision
  • Seeing colored rings around the eyes

Causes of glaucoma:

Aqueous humor is a clear fluid constantly produced at the back of the eye. This clear fluid fills up the front part of the eye. Aqueous humor leaves the eye through the channels in the cornea and the iris. Obstruction or blockage in these channels may increase the natural pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure (IOP) which may result in the damage of the optic nerves causing sight loss.

Doctors believe one or more of these given factors may cause an increase in the pressure in the eye.

  • Dilating eye drops
  • Blocked or restricted drainage in the eye
  • Medications such as corticosteroids
  • Poor or reduced blood flow to your optic nerve
  • High or elevated blood pressure
  • Diagnosis of Glaucoma:

Ophthalmologists at Yashoda Hospital may order various tests including eye examination to diagnose and check for signs of deterioration including loss of nerve tissue. Some tests are as follows:

  • Tonometry Test is used to measure the internal pressure of the eye.
  • Pachymetry Test is used to detect the thinning of the cornea.
  • Perimetry Test detects whether glaucoma is affecting the vision by measuring the peripheral or side
  • vision and central vision.
  • Doctors may order special imaging tests and take photographs of the optic nerves to monitor the gradual changes.

Treatment of Glaucoma:

Glaucoma can be treated in the following ways:

Doctors generally begin the treatment by prescribing certain medications which are available in the form of pills or eye drops to reduce IOP.
Doctors may suggest surgery if a blocked or slow channel is causing increased IOP. This surgery will drain the fluid or destroy tissues that are responsible for increased fluid.
Angle closure glaucoma is a medical emergency and may require immediate treatment to reduce eye pressure. A laser procedure called laser peripheral iridotomy is generally performed by creating a small hole into the iris to remove the increased fluid.

Prevention of glaucoma:

Glaucoma is a disease that cannot be prevented. The only way to prevent it is early detection of the disease. It is always advisable to have an annual eye care appointment with the best ophthalmologist. Early detection of glaucoma will help to prevent it from getting worse.

Dr. Arpit Pavaiya is one of the best ophthalmologists in Delhi NCR and currently leads the ophthalmology division at Yashoda Hospital and Research Centre as a Senior Consultant. Dr. Pavaiya has an experience of more than 5 years in treating and diagnosing various rare disorders of the eye. Dr. Pavaiya has a specialization in treating medical conditions like glaucoma and cataract and has performed over 6000 cataract surgeries and helped people in restoring their vision.

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Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital

Yashoda Hospital is one of the best super specialty hospitals in Ghaziabad, Noida & Delhi NCR. Yashoda Hospital aims at providing the best healthcare services across the country and not just in Delhi NCR, Ghaziabad & Noida. Being a super speciality hospital, Yashoda Hospital has a number of dedicated specialities under one roof- gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics & gynaecology, cardiology, pulmonology & internal medicine, orthopedics, urology and many more.

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