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What is Glaucoma?

Posted by [email protected] on November 7, 2015 at 12:20 PM

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To have healthy vision you need to protect your optic nerve, the cable connecting your eye to your brain, allowing them to communicate. The optic nerve is located at the back of the eye behind the retina.

A healthy optic nerve consists of a small white depression at the center, which is the cup and the outer rim, which is the disc rim.  Increased pressure, known as the intraocular pressure on these two components of the optic nerve plays a large role in the development of glaucoma.

Intraocular pressure is the only risk factor of glaucoma that can be modified. High intraocular pressure is caused by the buildup of natural fluid produced by the eyes to keep them healthy.

Here's how it happens. The fluid flows between the iris and the lens, then flows out of the eye I through a tiny spongy tissue called the trabecular meshwork which serves as the drain of the eye. With glaucoma, the fluid drainage is slow to the tubecular meshwork, increasing intraocular pressure and ultimately damaging the optic nerve. This damage causes the cells to become dysfunctional and eventually die. As more cells die, the cup becomes larger, expanding this white area and the disc rim gets thinner. This enlarged cup to disc ratio represents optic nerve damage resulting in vision loss which is irreversible.

The result is patches or blind spots that permanently reduce the field of vision. At first peripheral vision may be affected. Without treatment it may become harder to see things out of the corner of the eye. Eventually straight-ahead vision may decrease until sight is lost completely.

To prevent glaucoma progression and vision loss, it is important to get regular complete eye examinations by an eye health specialist.

See Testimonials on Glaucoma here.

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