Glaucoma is an eye condition that is caused by increased intraocular pressure. Normal range for eye pressure is between 10- to 21-mm HG.
Types of glaucoma include open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma. Both types cause the normal range for eye pressure to rise, but the latter is a medical emergency and occurs very suddenly.
Risk factors for increased eye pressure and glaucoma include advancing age, family history of glaucoma, previous eye injury, history of eye surgery, past steroid use, history of migraine headache and sleep apnea.
Symptoms of both types of glaucoma include peripheral and sometimes central vision deficit. Open angle glaucoma does not cause pain, but it can cause light sensitivity and cloudy vision and the patient may feel as he is looking through a tunnel. Narrow angle glaucoma occurs violently and suddenly with symptoms of severe eye pain, nausea, eye redness and blurred vision.
Diagnosis of glaucoma can be made after intraocular pressure is found to be in excess of 21 mm. In addition to increased eye pressure, the ophthalmologist will scope the eye for retinal and structural abnormalities.
Although there is no cure for glaucoma, it can be controlled. Early diagnosis and treatment will affect the prognosis. Treatment with eye drops, and in some cases oral medications, can help restore normal range for eye pressure.