What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that injures or damages the optic nerve, which is vital for good vision. The cause is often a high pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure may gradually destroy the optic nerve tissue, which may affect your vision.
Glaucoma may be the leading cause of blindness for people who are over 60. Although it can occur at any age, it is common in older adults. Many forms of glaucoma come with no serious alarming signs. Initially, you may notice changes in vision only until the condition advances.
Vision loss due to glaucoma is not recovered usually, so it is important that you get measurements of your eye pressure so treatment can be initiated early.
If glaucoma is recognized early, vision loss can be managed or prevented.
Types of Glaucoma
There are five major types of glaucoma:
Open-Angle (Chronic) Glaucoma
Open-angle or chronic glaucoma has no signs or symptoms in the starting stage. This vision loss is so gradual that by the time you notice other signs, the damage seems to be irreparable.
Angle-Closure (Acute) Glaucoma
The eye gets its source of nourishment from aqueous humour fluid. AHF is helpful in keeping the eye in a pressurized state. But if this fluid starts to build up, this may cause painful pressure in the eye. It is a threatening condition that should be addressed immediately. If you experience signs such as severe pain, nausea, and blurred vision, consult your doctor right away.
Secondary glaucoma is an outcome of an injury or another eye condition, such as eye tumours or cataracts. Medicines, such as steroids may cause this glaucoma.
As the name suggests, it is a congenital condition characterized by a defect in the angle of the eye that prevents or slows normal fluid drainage. The usual symptoms at this time include sensitivity to light, cloudy eyes, excessive tearing, etc.
In fewer cases, people with increased pressure in the eye may also experience damage to the optic nerve. The cause of this is not fully understood yet. However, risk factors include sensitivity to light or a lack of blood flow.
The signs of glaucoma depend on the type. The most common type is primary open-angle glaucoma, which has no sign except a gradual decline in vision. For that reason, one should not ignore changes in vision and consult an eye specialist to monitor the cause.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma is a serious condition that asks for a medical emergency. It is also referred to as narrow-angle glaucoma.
The common signs include:
- severe pain in the eye
- redness in the eye
- sudden changes in the vision
- visible coloured rings around lights
- blurry vision
Glaucoma is the result of optic nerve damage. As the nerve damage continues for a long time, blind spots may develop in the visual field. So, the doctors cannot recognize the exact cause of nerve damage. It is also known that the cause is increased pressure in the eye.
The elevated pressure could be a result of aqueous fluid humour. The internal liquid may be eliminated with the help of a tissue called the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. When there is too much fluid or impaired drainage system function, the fluid may start to accumulate instead of draining out and this is how eye pressure increases.
Also, there is a link between the genes related to eye pressure and optic nerve damage.
You are likely to get glaucoma if you:
- Are nearsighted or farsighted
- Have poor vision
- Have diabetes
- Take steroids such as prednisone
- Take drugs for bladder control or seizures, or some over-the-counter medicines
- Have had an injury to your eyes
- Have corneas that are flatter
- Have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or sickle cell anaemia
- Experience high eye pressure
- Are over 40
- Have a family history of glaucoma
Ayurvedic treatment for Glaucoma
When diagnosed early, Ayurveda can help with the management of intraocular pressure in the eyes. The aim of the ayurvedic treatment is to focus on the eyesight of the patient. There are ayurvedic procedures and therapies that help strengthen the function of the optic nerve and they all are a unique blend of ayurvedic attributes.
The focus is on restoring health by calming the doshas at the core level. At AyuKarma, we have specialized ayurvedic doctors and physicians to encourage optimal healing of your health. Ayurveda is also about practising a healthy diet and yoga and meditation so that your body feels rejuvenated at whole.