Glaucoma is the term used to indicate a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve due to increase in pressure in the eye. The optic nerve carries information from the eye to the brain. The nerve gets damaged because of increased pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure) and the damage is irreversible. Hence vision loss that is already present before treatment does not improve with treatment.
Expected duration of glaucoma
Open angle glaucoma: Currently there is no cure for open-angle glaucoma, but in most cases the symptoms and damage to vision can be prevented by closely following the doctor's instructions and regular follow-ups. If you have open-angle glaucoma, you will probably be given eye drops. Most people are treated successfully with eye drops. Some people may need more than one type of medication. The eye drops used now-a-days are more effective and have fewer side effects than those used in the past. If the pressure in the eye is not lowered with eye drops, you may also be given pills or advised surgery. If glaucoma is not treated, permanent blindness can occur.
Angle-closure glaucoma: Angle-closure (acute) glaucoma is caused because of sudden blockage of exit of the aqueous humor fluid. This results in rapid, severe, and painful rise in the pressure in the eye. An acute attack of angle-closure is a medical emergency which can lead to blindness in a few days if it is not treated. People with angle-closure glaucoma may be treated with eye drops and medicines (given by mouth and through vein) to lower eye pressure. In severe cases an emergency operation, called an iridotomy may be done to relieve pressure and symptoms. It relieves pressure and prevents another attack. Acute glaucoma in one eye increases the risk of an attack in the second eye, hence your doctor may recommend preventive treatment. Treatment can relieve symptoms effectively and prevent blindness.
Congenital glaucoma: The parent or caregiver may notice certain symptoms when the child is a few months old. Surgery is a viable treatment option for congenital glaucoma and it can cure the disease and get rid of the symptoms effectively.
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