How does glaucoma damage occur?

The eye contains a fluid known as aqueous humor that provides nourishment to its internal structures. This fluid is produced behind the iris (colored portion of the eye) and then is drained out through a sieve-like structure called the trabecular meshwork at the front part of the eye.  In some eyes, abnormalities in the drainage system lead to impairment of the normal aqueous humor outflow, and IOP increases. This high IOP may damage the optic nerve head located in the back part of the eye and impair the communication between the eye and the part of the brain responsible for the vision.  In other cases, IOP may be relatively normal, but glaucoma occurs anyway because of the inability of the eye to handle mechanical stress where the nerve fibers leave the eye, or because of poor blood supply to these same nerve fibers.

Vid. 1. Glaucoma Pathogenesis

World Glaucoma Association

Important message for glaucoma patients

It is important for you to get yourself regularly screened for glaucoma. If you have been diagnosed to have glaucoma, effective treatment options are now available and regular treatment and follow up can help you to preserve your vision for your lifetime, avoiding unnecessary fear of going blind.

You can live happily with glaucoma and enjoy an excellent quality of life, particularly if the disease is detected early and treated in time. Always remember that once you have glaucoma, you will have to be under the care of an eye doctor for the rest of your life.

There is a lot of research going on and new treatments may become available for glaucoma in the near future.

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