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Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma

by Salina Shafi

What is Glaucoma?

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, yet most people still know little about this common disease. Glaucoma is a type of ocular disorder where a patient experiences high intraocular pressure. This occurs when a patient feels high pressure inside or behind the eye. If left untreated, this condition can cause permanent blindness in some patients. There are different types of glaucoma; it is an umbrella term for other diagnoses that are similarly connected to fluid build-up and some sort of nerve damage in the eye. Most of these disorders result in some sort of blindness, whether that be complete blindness or peripheral blindness. As the nerve damage gets worse, the patient will start to have more and more blind spots in their vision. This type of nerve damage can be caused by a buildup of aqueous humor, a fluid that resides inside the eyeball. Aqueous humor usually drains out through the trabecular meshwork, which is a tissue located where the cornea and the iris meet. Glaucoma can be really difficult to understand as it happens on a smaller scale and inside of our eyes. The diagram below describes and showcases the differences between a healthy eye and its aqueous humor flow and an eye with glaucoma and how its flow is blocked because of build-up fluid.



What can be done to prevent Glaucoma?

Two identified risk factors have been age and gender, as glaucoma is more present in people over the age of 60 and women. As someone ages, the size of their lens increases, which also puts them at risk of getting glaucoma. Diabetic patients are also at a greater risk of getting some form of glaucoma. This is why your eye doctor will ask you about any family history of diabetes. It has been discovered that the risk of early glaucoma does rely on one’s genetics to a certain extent. Knowing your familial history can allow an individual to be more cautious and have more eye examinations. Many professionals suggest getting regular dilated eye examinations, this allows the patient the ease of knowing that they are up to date with their health.




What are some signs and symptoms?

  • Severe headache

  • Constant eye pain

  • Constant nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Blurry vision

  • Seeing halos around lights

  • Redness in the eyes


Eye care tips

Even though certain groups are more predisposed to have glaucoma than others, there are certain steps one can take to prevent glaucoma and to promote healthy vision. Having a well-balanced diet is recommended by many professionals, as well as exercising or taking some time out of the day to be active. Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and other foreign objects is super beneficial. It has become more pressing that you know your family medical history because some eye diseases are genetic. Going to the eye doctor regularly allows eye disorders to be caught quicker and allows a professional to advise you on different ways you can improve the health of their eyes. By taking these steps, individuals can ensure that their eyes stay healthy, while preventing optical diseases such as glaucoma from occurring.



Thanks for reading, and I will “see” you later!




References:

“Early-Onset Glaucoma: Medlineplus Genetics.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Aug. 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/early-onset-glaucoma/.

“Eye Care | Vision Care.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 17 Dec. 2021, https://medlineplus.gov/eyecare.html.

“Glaucoma.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 23 Oct. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glaucoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372839.

Khazaeni B, Khazaeni L. Acute Closed Angle Glaucoma. [Updated 2022 Jan 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430857/

Silver, Natalie. “7 Best Foods for Eyes.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 Apr. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/best-foods-for-eyes.


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