Glaucoma is a condition brought about by persistent high pressure within the eye. People who have developed elevated pressure within their eyes, sometimes called IntraOcular Pressure ( IOP ) or also Ocular Hypertension, are more at risk for developing Glaucoma than those of us with normal eye pressure.
The pressure within the eye involves the production and/or drainage of eye fluid, the aqueous humor. Aqueous humor provides structural support (like air would to a balloon), oxygen, and nutrition to tissues within the eye. Aqueous humor is produced within the rear chamber of the eye and flows forward through the pupil into the front chamber. Once in the front part of the eye – the fluid drains through special canals.
When your ocular system begins to produce more aqueous humor than your eye is able to normally drain – increased pressure results. This is the most common condition leading to optical nerve damage – which is known as Glaucoma.
When you show up for routine eye health exams at Astorino and Associates Newport Beach, CA – Eye Center, one of the tests we routinely perform is a test of your eye pressure. About half the people with Glaucoma are unaware of it until significant optical nerve damage has occurred. It is not a disease that “announces” itself with loud, easily recognizable symptoms. You just have to have your eyes checked regularly.
If a high pressure condition is caught and treated early enough, it can alleviate the conditions that frequently lead to Glaucoma. Left untreated, however, Glaucoma eventually results in partial or complete blindness.
Glaucoma is treated with medications that reduce the amount of aqueous humor produced, increase the drainage of aqueous humor out the front of the eye, and increase secondary drainage routes. In certain cases, eye surgery may be required that provides an artificial means for draining the aqueous humor.
Please enjoy Dr. Astorino's educational video below on narrow angle Glaucoma.