Brandan's Eye Research Foundation

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Email: admin@visionclub.ca

Phone: 905.738.3837

Registered Charity: 80889 0446 RR0001

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Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

 

More than 250,000 Canadians have chronic open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease. 
Glaucoma occurs due to damage to the optic nerve. While it is not known exactly how this occurs, there is an association between damage to the optic nerve and pressure within the eye due to build up of excess fluid within the eye. Over time the disease develops into a loss of peripheral (side) vision. 

 

There are several types of glaucoma that can be broken down into primary and secondary glaucoma:

 

Primary Glaucoma: Open-angle glaucoma accounts for 90 per cent of all cases in Canada. Initially you can perform all normal daily activities like driving and reading. Sight loss is not obvious until it is too late and permanent. With primary open-angle glaucoma, the normal drainage outflow mechanism in the eye becomes blocked, increasing fluid pressure inside the eye. However, some people may have what is called normal tension glaucoma, a type of open angle glaucoma in which damage to the optic nerve may occur even though the pressure within the eye is not elevated.

 

Primary Glaucoma: Primary acute closed-angle glaucoma results from a buildup of fluid in the eye because the distance between the iris and the drainage system has been closed, stopping fluid from draining from the eye. This type of glaucoma occurs very suddenly and is an emergency. There is often severe pain associated with this condition. Severe sight loss can occur if treatment is not sought immediately.

 

Primary Glaucoma: Chronic angle closure glaucoma also involves a narrowing of space between the iris and the drainage system, but it occurs more gradually than in the acute form of the condition (and can take weeks or even years). There are no symptoms other than sight loss.

 

Secondary glaucoma can result from a variety of other conditions like an eye injury or inflammation, eye surgery complications, diabetes and the use of certain medications.

 

How does glaucoma affect your sight?

 

Glaucoma occurs due to damage to the optic nerve. While it is not known exactly how this occurs, there is an association between damage to the optic nerve and pressure within the eye due to build up of excess fluid within the eye. 

 

Over time the disease develops into a loss of peripheral (side) vision. If glaucoma is untreated it could advance to later stages where central vision narrows to "tunnel" vision, or it may result in complete loss of vision.

 

 

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