Understanding Glaucoma for NJ Eye Patients

Glaucoma is actually a group of diseases, and not one individual disease, that can damage the eye’s optic nerve and eventually lead to vision loss and blindness. The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that acts as an “information highway” between the retina in the eye and the brain. The retina gathers light-sensitive information when you look at something, and relays that information to the brain via the optic nerve so the brain can process what it is you are seeing. A healthy optic nerve is an essential piece of good vision health.

Common Glaucoma Conditions

The most commonly seen form of glaucoma at Marano Eye Care is open-angle glaucoma. In this condition, fluid pressure within the eye increases and is unable to drain. Angle-closure glaucoma is a less common form of the condition. This type of glaucoma should be treated as a medical emergency, and can result in severe vision loss within days of its onset.  It occurs when the drainage angle in the eye becomes blocked or closed. The pressure built up within the eye causes the iris to be pushed forward, decreasing the space between the iris and the cornea. Secondary glaucoma is another type of the condition, and may occur when the patient has suffered from another medical condition, physical injury, or eye abnormality.

Those at Risk for Glaucoma

There are certain factors that can increase the risk of a patient developing glaucoma. Patients over the age of 60 are at an increased risk of developing the eye disease. In African Americans, this risk begins after age 40. Those of Asian descent are at a greater risk of developing angle-closure glaucoma, while those of Japanese descent are more prone to a low-tension glaucoma. Family history and medical conditions are always examined during your initial visit to Marano Eye Care. Other eye-related factors that can affect the development of glaucoma include optic nerve appearance, retinal detachment, eye tumors, and eye inflammation.