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Includes Glaucoma assessment and treatment:

  • Trabeculectomy/Trabeculotomy,
  • Ahmed valve implantation,
  • Cryophotocoagulation (CPC),
  • laser trabeculoplasty,
  • Laser peripheral Iridotomy among others

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve, which transmits images from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma often results from high pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure). The condition causes vision loss and can lead to blindness.

Types of Glaucoma

In a healthy eye, a clear fluid (aqueous humor) fills the front of the eye and normally flows in and out through channels where the iris and cornea meet. Because glaucoma often results from high intraocular pressure, anything that blocks or slows the flow of this fluid increases pressure.

The major types of glaucoma are:

  • Open-angle glaucoma: More than 90 percent of adults with glaucoma have this type. In open-angle glaucoma, fluid inside the eye pressure increases slowly over a long time, and patients often do not notice a change. As pressure on the optic nerve increases, it can damage the nerve and cause vision loss such as blind spots.
  • Traumatic glaucoma: Eye injuries can damage and block the fluid drainage system in the eye, which increases eye pressure and can lead to glaucoma. Traumatic glaucoma can develop immediately after an injury or even years later, so ongoing monitoring is important.
  • Angle-closure glaucoma: Also known as closed-angle glaucoma, this type occurs when the fluid suddenly becomes blocked, leading to a quick, dramatic pressure increase inside the eye. Angle-closure glaucoma usually causes immediate, noticeable symptoms such as severe eye pain and blurry vision. This type of glaucoma is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent blindness.
  • Low- or normal-tension glaucoma: Some people with normal eye pressure can develop this type of glaucoma, a form of open-angle glaucoma.
  • Congenital glaucoma: Some babies are born with a defect in the eye that slows the normal fluid drainage. Congenital glaucoma usually causes noticeable symptoms and signs very early, and prompt surgery provides children with an excellent chance for good vision.
  • Secondary glaucoma: Either open- or closed-angle glaucoma can develop as a result of a known cause, such as another eye disease, a medical condition, an injury, or certain medications. Some types of secondary glaucoma include:
  • Pigmentary glaucoma: In younger, nearsighted patients, pigment from the iris can dislodge and clog the eye’s internal drainage channels, leading to build up of pressure inside the eye and a secondary glaucoma.

Causes and Risk Factors for Glaucoma

The causes of open-angle glaucoma are unknown. Causes for other types of glaucoma include:

  • Dilating eye drops
  • Certain medications such as corticosteroids
  • Eye diseases
  • Other conditions such as diabetes
  • Previous eye injury or eye surgery
  • Congenital (present since birth) defect

Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing glaucoma, such as:

  • Advanced age
  • Extreme nearsightedness
  • African or Hispanic ancestry
  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Diabetes (in some cases)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Thin cornea (clear layer covering the front of the eye)

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