Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause blindness. It usually begins when pressure builds up in the eye as a result of clogged or blocked eye drainage areas.
The eye is always producing fluid, and if too much of it stays in the eye, it increases eye pressure. This pressure can damage the optic nerve, the nerve in charge of sending messages to the brain so you can see.
If damaged, the optic nerve cannot send the messages to the brain that let you see.
Types of Glaucoma
There are two main kinds of glaucoma: “open-angle” and “closed-angle.” A patient’s kind of glaucoma and the stage of the condition will determine the best type of glaucoma treatment to use to effectively control eye pressure and prevent sight loss.
Open-angle is the most common kind of glaucoma. It occurs slowly as people age. The drainage area in the eye becomes clogged. Not enough fluid drains from the eye, so pressure slowly builds up.
The built-up pressure in the eye causes gradual loss of side (peripheral) vision. You may not even notice changes until much of your vision is lost. People suffering from open-angle glaucoma can also see patchy blind spots in their peripheral or central vision.
Closed-angle glaucoma is less common than open-angle. It usually comes on quickly. The drainage area in the eye suddenly becomes completely blocked. If not treated right away, eye pressure quickly leads to blindness.
You may notice blurred vision and rainbow halos around lights. You may also have headaches, nausea, vomiting, and severe pain.