Causes of Glaucoma
The primary cause of glaucoma is excessive pressure on the optic nerve, which results from fluid buildup within the anterior chamber of the eye. However, a number of contributing factors can lead to this pressure buildup. By understanding glaucoma causes, we can provide treatment that helps preserve your vision. After diagnosing your condition, we can determine which treatment would be most effective at meeting your needs – non-surgical glaucoma treatment or glaucoma surgery – and advise you on cost and financing.
Though the common perception is that glaucoma refers to just one condition, the term actually describes a group of eye diseases that can affect the optic nerve and impair vision. Understanding these different glaucoma types allows our team to devise an effective treatment plan and protect your vision from further degradation.
The type of glaucoma will dictate, at least in part, the treatment method that is employed and how closely patients are monitored. Because early onset glaucoma typically has no symptoms, it’s important that you undergo routine eye examinations to ensure that you maintain the health of your eyes. Through glaucoma evaluation, we can determine the degree and type of eye disease that you are suffering. If you are experiencing symptoms associated with glaucoma, including loss of peripheral vision or tunnel vision, or are an at-risk patient, please don’t hesitate to contact SightMD today. The earlier that treatment is sought, the better the chance of preserving your vision.
We educate patients at SightMD so that they can both understand why evaluation and treatment is necessary and make informed decisions regarding treatment. During a meeting with one of our doctors, we can discuss in detail the causes of glaucoma. With over 20 locations, we likely have an office that is conveniently located for you. The primary factors that can lead to glaucoma include:
- Insufficient Drainage – At the angle where the iris and cornea meet, there is a soft, mesh-like tissue through which fluid drains from the anterior chamber of the eye. If this mesh-like opening does not drain eye fluid sufficiently, this can lead to a buildup of fluid and elevation in eye pressure, which can cause damage to the optic nerve, and eventually glaucoma.
- Overproduction of Fluid – In some cases, fluid buildup may occur not as a result of obstructed trabecular meshwork or a closed angle, but rather from increased aqueous humor fluid production. The fluid that runs through the eye is produced by the ciliary body. If this component of the eye produces abnormal levels of fluid, the normal drainage channels may be unable to cope with the volume and eye pressure may rise.
- Damage to the Optic Nerve – Certain nutritional deficiencies, reduced blood flow, early nerve cell damage, autoimmune disease, and trauma may damage the optic nerve. In such cases, glaucoma may result. Additionally, previous surgery or other diseases, such as diabetes, may also cause glaucoma. Uveitis, which is an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, pigment dispersion, and pseudoexfoliation may all causes glaucoma as well.
- Genetics – A number of genetic malformations can result in a greater risk of developing glaucoma. Ethnicity can also result in a predisposition to the development of glaucoma. Individuals at greater risk for glaucoma include African-Americans over the age of 40 and all men and women 60 years of age or older. Additionally, individuals of Asian descent and women may be at greater risk of angle closure glaucoma due to shallower anterior chamber depth.
An understanding of these causes is an elemental part of treatment. By treating the source of the condition, and not simply the symptoms, we can delay or halt the onset of glaucoma. Sight in an invaluable sense, and we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy this gift. At SightMD, we take every measure to improve our patients’ vision and ensure long-term health.
Please don’t hesitate to contact SightMD today to arrange a consultation with our eye care specialists. We can discuss glaucoma causes, as well as symptoms and treatment options, and answer any questions you may have regarding your vision.