The eye produces aqueous humor to maintain constant ocular pressure. For patients with glaucoma, this fluid does not flow out properly. This leads to fluid and pressure buildup, causing compression of the optic nerve.
The optic nerve transmits images from the retina to the brain. Once damaged, it causes vision impairment or vision loss. According to Southwest Vision Center, underlying reasons usually relate to the type of glaucoma you have.
To help you understand this condition better, your reliable optometrist in Edwardsburg, MI, discusses the different types of glaucoma:
1. Open-Angle Glaucoma (Wide-Angle)
Your eye fluid drains through a spongy meshwork at an angle where the iris and cornea meet. For unspecified reasons, this meshwork can become less efficient at draining. Even though the angle is wide open, draining remains ineffective. As fluid builds up, pressure in the eye rises. This can compress the optic nerve over time.
This is the most common type of glaucoma. It’s reportedly asymptomatic in its early phases. As the condition progresses, however, spots start to appear across your visual field.
2. Angle-Closure Glaucoma (Narrow-Angle)
This happens when the angle between the iris and cornea becomes too narrow. The increased fluid may cause optic nerve compression and damage over time. Pupil dilation and vision blurring is experienced. You may also experience sudden headaches and severe eye pain.
Our eye doctor in Edwardsburg, MI, considers this type as a medical emergency. Without prompt treatment, it can cause blindness.
3. Congenital or Inherited Glaucoma
This is a rare type of glaucoma, which usually develops in infants and children. This happens when the eye’s canals do not develop properly, slowing down fluid drainage. This manifests with cloudy eyes and excessive tearing in children. You may also notice hypersensitivity to light and glare.
4. Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)
This happens when your eye pressure is within the normal range (12-22 mmHg), yet optic nerve damage and vision impairments still occur. The exact cause of the nerve damage is unknown. Although asymptomatic during the early stages, it may eventually manifest tunnel vision or the loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision.
Reducing the Risk of Glaucoma
Management of this disease depends on the type of glaucoma you have. Nonetheless, most treatment plans aim to lower the eye pressure, eventually controlling glaucoma progression. Such plans include prescription eye drops, medications, or intraocular eyeglasses in Three Rivers, MI.
Since some types of glaucoma are asymptomatic in their early phases, it is essential to have routine eye exams. With a timely diagnosis, we can prevent significant vision loss and maintain your quality of life. Call us at (269) 414-4492 (Edwardsburg) or (269) 273-8588 (Three Rivers) to schedule an appointment.