Glaucoma

Researchers discover three glaucoma-related genes

An analysis funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified three genes that contribute to the most common type of glaucoma. The study increases the total number of such ...

Jan 11, 2016
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IOP spikes common after cyclophotocoagulation

(HealthDay)—For patients undergoing cyclophotocoagulation, intraocular pressure (IOP) spikes are common in the immediate postoperative period, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical & Experimental ...

Dec 10, 2015
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Vermont medical school delves into marijuana science

As more states allow for the use of medical marijuana, the University of Vermont is offering a course in the science of the drug—and the professors say they are challenged by a lack of research on what has long been a taboo ...

Dec 09, 2015
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New periodic paralysis drug

More than 15 years of research led by neurologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has culminated in the first approved treatment for individuals with a rare neuromuscular disorder called periodic paralysis. ...

Dec 04, 2015
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Glaucoma can affect babies, too

(HealthDay)—When Olivia Goree noticed something just "wasn't right" about her 6-week-old son's eyes, she trusted her instincts and took him to the doctor. What she never expected was the diagnosis: glaucoma.

Jul 02, 2014
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Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged in a characteristic pattern. This can permanently damage vision in the affected eye(s) and lead to blindness if left untreated. It is normally associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye (aqueous humour). The term 'ocular hypertension' is used for people with consistently raised intraocular pressure (IOP) without any associated optic nerve damage. Conversely, the term 'normal tension' or 'low tension' glaucoma is used for those with optic nerve damage and associated visual field loss but normal or low IOP.

The nerve damage involves loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern. There are many different subtypes of glaucoma, but they can all be considered to be a type of optic neuropathy. Raised intraocular pressure (above 21 mmHg or 2.8 kPa) is the most important and only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma. However, some may have high eye pressure for years and never develop damage, while others can develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure. Untreated glaucoma can lead to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which over time can progress to blindness.

Glaucoma can be roughly divided into two main categories, "open angle" and "closed angle" (or "angle closure") glaucoma. The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid must flow to escape via the trabecular meshwork. Closed angle glaucoma can appear suddenly and is often painful; visual loss can progress quickly, but the discomfort often leads patients to seek medical attention before permanent damage occurs. Open angle, chronic glaucoma tends to progress at a slower rate and patients may not notice they have lost vision until the disease has progressed significantly.

Glaucoma has been called the "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced. Once lost, vision can not normally be recovered and so treatment is aimed at preventing further loss. Worldwide, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness after cataracts. It is also the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. Glaucoma affects one in 200 people aged fifty and younger, and one in 10 over the age of eighty. If the condition is detected early enough, it is possible to arrest the development or slow the progression with medical and surgical means.

The word "glaucoma" comes from the Greek γλαύκωμα, "opacity of the crystalline lens." (Cataracts and glaucoma were not distinguished until c.1705).

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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