Glaucoma is a group of related eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain. In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye — a condition called ocular hypertension. Glaucoma is a group of related eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain.
In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye — a condition called ocular hypertension. But it can also occur when intraocular pressure
(IOP) is normal. If untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and eventually can lead to blindness.
In most types of glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is associated with damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye
Types Of Glaucoma
The two major categories of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and narrow angle glaucoma. The “angle” in both cases refers to the drainage angle inside the eye that controls the outflow of the watery fluid (aqueous) which is continually being produced inside the eye.
If the aqueous can access the drainage angle, the glaucoma is known as open angle glaucoma. If the drainage angle is blocked and the aqueous cannot reach it, the glaucoma is known as narrow angle glaucoma.
Diagnosis, Screening And Tests For Glaucoma
During routine eye exams, a tonometer is used to measure your intraocular pressure, or IOP. Your eye typically is numbed with eye drops, and a small probe gently rests against your eye’s surface. Other tonometers send a puff of air onto your eye’s surface.
An abnormally high IOP reading indicates a problem with the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) in the eye. Either the eye is producing too much fluid, or it’s not draining properly.
Treatment for glaucoma can involve surgery, laser treatment or medication, depending on the severity. Eye drops with medication aimed at lowering IOP are usually tried first to control glaucoma.
What is optic nerve cupping?
The optic nerve carries impulses for sight from the retina in the eye to the brain. It is composed of millions of retinal nerve fibers that bundle together and exit to the brain through the optic disc located at the back of the eye. The optic disc has a center portion called the “cup” which is normally quite small in comparison to the entire optic disc.
In people with glaucoma damage, because of increased pressure in the eye and/or loss of blood flow to the optic nerve, these nerve fibers begin to die. This causes the cup to become larger in comparison to the optic disc, since the support structure is not there