“When I was first diagnosed with glaucoma, I was depressed. I didn’t know much about glaucoma, or whether the pressure could be controlled. I had trouble even accepting that something this serious could happen to my eyes.”- Roger McGuinn, Co-founder of the famed pop music group The Byrds.
With no treatment needed, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, while simultaneously being the number one leading cause in Africa (Glaucoma Research Foundation). According to the American Optometric Association, “Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases causing optic nerve damage. The optic nerve carries images from the retina, which is the specialized light sensing tissue, to the brain so we can see.” They go on to say that when dealing with glaucoma, one’s eye pressure plays a vital role in damaging the delicate nerve fibers of the optic nerve. “When a significant number of nerve fibers are damaged, blind spots develop in the field of vision. Once nerve damage and visual loss occur, it is permanent.” The National Institute of Health states that due to shallower anterior chamber depths, this defect hurts the lives of people mostly from East Asian descent. The Foundation continues to say that blacks are among the people who are three times more likely to have glaucoma while woman in general are two times more likely to developing angle closure glaucoma.
While these are risk factors, Dr. Tim Kennedy who Launched Patient.co.uk jointly with his GP wife, Dr. Beverley Kenny, informs us in 1995 that even having a family history, possessing very short sight, or have ever been diagnosed with diabetes puts you at risk of developing a form of glaucoma. Of the different forms of this illness chronic open-angle glaucoma is the one containing the highest casualty rate. Adults over ages 35 should get their eyes regularly tested due to slow development. Because of the devious nature of glaucoma, people diagnosed don’t usually reveal themselves with any concrete symptoms or visual complaints until late in the disease course, especially when dealing with Open Angle Glaucoma (Coeditor with Dr. Kennedy, Dr. Olivia Scott).
However this is isn't the case with narrow/closed-angle glaucoma and secondary forms of glaucoma. These types cause rapid closure of the area of tissue in the eye located around the base of the cornea; doctor term being the trabecular meshwork, along with a symptomatic rapid rise in intraocular pressure (eye fluid pressure). The cause of blindness in chronic open-angle glaucoma is a partial blockage within the trabecular meshwork that restricts the drainage of aqueous humour. The reason why the trabecular meshwork becomes blocked and does not drain well is not fully understood, as concluded by Dr. Tim Kenny. The aqueous humour builds up if the drainage is faulty and this increases the pressure within your eye. “The increased pressure in your eye can damage the nerve fibers, which is the main nerve of sight, running from the retina at the point...