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Glaucoma is an eye disease resulting from damage to the optic nerve from high pressure and improper fluid drainage inside the eye. The optic nerve stops sending signals to the brain when it is damaged, hindering its ability to function properly, diminishing neural activity from the brain, and potentially causing blindness. The three most common types of glaucoma include:

  • Open-angle. Fluid does not drain correctly creating increased pressure in the eye, despite an open angle.
  • Closed-angle. The angle for fluid to escape is completely blocked, causing pressure to build in the eye. Blockages can be the result of trauma, causing sudden pain and potential blindness.
  • Congenital. The angle of drainage is dysfunctional from birth and pressure builds in the eye over time. Symptoms include cloudy eyes, excessive tearing, and light sensitivity.

Diabetes and high blood pressure increase the risk of developing glaucoma. Although individuals over 40 are at a greater risk for the condition, people of any age can be diagnosed with glaucoma. Other risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Nearsightedness
  • African ancestry
  • Thin corneas
  • Past Injuries
  • Genetics

Glaucoma management is a vital part of visual health as we age. Regular eye health exams at Red Deer Eye Care allow us to detect possible sources of glaucoma and prevent permanent optic nerve damage.

Written by Tom Lampard

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