Glaucoma is sometimes known as “the silent thief of sight” for the way it slowly develops without symptoms. In fact, by the time patients with glaucoma notice changes to their vision, their eyes have usually undergone severe and permanent damage.
The only way to prevent significant vision loss due to glaucoma is through early diagnosis, which makes annual eye exams essential.
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Your eye transmits information to your brain through the optic nerve. Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve, impacting its ability to send signals to your brain. This damage is often related to an increase in intraocular pressure; however, that’s not always the case.
Every eye has a space between the lens and the cornea called the anterior chamber. This space is filled with liquid called aqueous humour, which continuously flows in one side of the chamber and out the other. The liquid inside the anterior chamber maintains pressure, known as intraocular pressure.
For the aqueous humour to flow properly, there needs to be space between the iris and the lens. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the space between the iris and the lens is wide enough to allow the aqueous humour to flow, but the drainage ducts are clogged or otherwise not working correctly. The lack of drainage causes intraocular pressure to rise.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the space between the lens and the iris suddenly closes. The anterior chamber then starts to fill quite quickly, causing the onset of violent symptoms.
Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma include:
This type of glaucoma develops very quickly and should be considered a medical emergency.
Some cases of glaucoma develop without an increase in intraocular pressure. These cases are called normal-tension glaucoma.
In normal-tension glaucoma, the aqueous humour continues to flow freely through the space between the lens and the iris, entering the drainage ducts without a problem. Still, even without increased intraocular pressure, the optic nerve sustains damage.
Brighton Eyecare is conveniently located in Brighton Marketplace just off McCormond Drive, between Save on Foods and The Keg.
We understand that life is busy, and it isn’t always convenient to take time out of your workday to visit your optometrist. To help serve you better, we offer Saturday appointments and have extended hours on Thursdays.