Friday, August 01, 2014

Glaucoma affects more than 70 million people in the world and is the leading cause of permanent blindness. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Glaucoma damages the major nerve of the eye and eventually may cause permanent vision loss.

There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Both cause too much fluid to collect within the eye, which can increase pressure in the eye and eventually damage the optic nerve.

Open-angle glaucoma causes no symptoms early on. Later in the disease, when a large part of the optic nerve is damaged, some people notice loss of vision. This occurs first on the outer parts of their field of vision, resulting in tunnel vision.

Angle-closure glaucoma can cause symptoms earlier, but not always. When it occurs suddenly, it can cause pain and redness in the eye in addition to vision changes.

Although glaucoma cannot be reversed once nerve damage is done, there are treatments that can slow the progression of nerve damage. These include eye drops or, in some severe cases, eye surgery.

Ask your health care provider if you have questions about whether you need testing for glaucoma.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.