What causes glaucoma in the eyes?

Glaucoma is relatively common, especially in senior adults. The effects of glaucoma cannot be reversed, so it’s important to catch this condition early on. By understanding the causes of glaucoma, you can be better prepared for treatment and prevention. 

What is glaucoma? 

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions caused by intense pressure in the eye. This affects the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting messages from your eyes to your brain. 

Glaucoma is a common cause of blindness for adults 60 and older, and it is most common in this age group. 

Common causes of glaucoma

Glaucoma is often hereditary, which means you’re more likely to develop it if your parents or grandparents had it. Trauma, diabetes, and certain medications, such as steroids, can also increase the likelihood of developing glaucoma. 

Glaucoma symptoms and early signs

There are two types of glaucoma: open-angle and acute angle-closure. Open-angle glaucoma is caused by a blockage in the drainage system for the eye. Acute angle-closure involves a bulging iris, which prevents fluid from circulating properly through the eye. 

Symptoms of open-angle glaucoma include blind spots in the central or peripheral vision, which may lead to tunnel vision over time. Symptoms of acute angle-closure include:

  • Halos around lights
  • Redness
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea/vomiting 

How to detect and treat glaucoma

Once glaucoma starts to impact your vision, it cannot be undone. However, there are treatment options in the early stages that can slow the progression.

The best way to detect and prevent glaucoma is through routine eye exams. Seeing the eye doctor at least once a year will keep your vision intact as long as possible. Your optometrist can create a personalized treatment plan based on your current symptoms and severity. 

Contact Oklahoma City Vision to schedule your annual eye exam.