Kolkata, Aug 31: Glaucoma can be regarded as a group of diseases that have as a common end-point a characteristic optic neuropathy which is determined by both structural change and functional deficit.
Glaucoma usually occurs when pressure inside eye increases. This can happen when eye fluid isn't circulating normally in the front part of the eye. Normally, this fluid, called aqueous humor, flows out of the eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel becomes blocked, fluid builds up, causing glaucoma.
The direct cause of this blockage is unknown, but doctors do know that it can be inherited, meaning it is passed from parents to children. Less common causes of glaucoma include a blunt or chemical injury to the eye, severe eye infection, blockage of blood vessels in the eye, inflammatory conditions of the eye, and occasionally eye surgery to correct another condition. Glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes, but it may involve each eye to a different extent.
The medical understanding of the nature of glaucoma has changed profoundly in the past few years and a precise comprehensive definition and diagnostic criteria are yet to be finalised.
There are several types of glaucoma, however, the two most common are primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), having a slow and insidious onset, and angle closure glaucoma (ACG), which is less common and tends to be more acute.
Chronic (primary open-angle) glaucoma is the most common form of this disease. However, other forms occur: Low-tension or normal tension glaucoma. Occasionally optic nerve damage can occur in people with so-called normal eye pressure. This form of glaucoma is treated in the same manner as open-angle glaucoma. (UNI)