Glaucoma is a disease that affects many people when they are in there older years. It can also affect new-born babies. There is no known cause and it progresses to blindness if left untreated.
There are four kinds of glaucoma: Open-angle (chronic); Angle-closure (acute); Congenital (in new-born babies); and Secondary. The most common is the Open-angle glaucoma. In this instance, the pressure gradually builds up inside the eye until you start seeing rings around lights at night or lose your peripheral vision. Once vision loss occurs, the damage is already severe.
This is why the medical profession suggests you start getting tested for glaucoma in your forties. This way your doctor can keep an eye on the progression of the disease and administer medications (usually prescription eye drops) as needed, and tell you if you need surgery before it gets too late and your vision is lost.
Angle-closure glaucoma is when the fluid in the eye is suddenly blocked from exiting the eye. The result is very quick and severe pain in the eye due to the pressure buildup. Symptoms may come and go, or persist. You can also have cloudy vision (decreased), see halos around lights, have nausea and vomiting, red eye, or the eye feels swollen.
If not treated immediately, this type will result in blindness in a few days. This condition usually requires laser or eye surgery to relieve the pressure as quickly as possible. There is also medication available that is either given by mouth or by an IV. It depends on the severity of the attack which method your doctor will suggest.
Secondary glaucoma is caused by drugs (corticosteroids), eye diseases, systemic diseases and trauma. The treatment is the same as for Open-angle glaucoma.
There are no cures for glaucoma but the treatments, if started soon enough, can help keep the situation from progressing too fast. Therefore, it is very important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis so this disease can be caught in its infancy.
Info taken from the Public medical Health web site

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