Glaucoma is a chronic disease that causes progressive, irreversible damage to the opticnerve. The optic nerve is the main supply of visual information from the eye to the brain where it is processed and interpreted. High intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for glaucoma. However some patients may have features of glaucoma despite normal intraocular pressure. This condition is known as normal-tension glaucoma. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause progressive tunnel vision and eventually blindness. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide.
What causes glaucoma ?
There is good evidence that there is a genetic component to the development of glaucoma. A number of genes implicated in the pathogenesis of glaucoma have been identified in recent years. Those people with a first degree relative who has been diagnosed with glaucoma should have their eyes regularly screened for this condition.
As mentioned earlier, high intraocular pressure is the major risk factor for the development of glaucoma. Other factors such as a thin central cornea may also play a role. There are numerous secondary causes of glaucoma, including a history of blunt ocular trauma among others. Our specialists can discuss this with you further.