Growing older increases the risk of glaucoma, especially after the age of 40.

Some people have pressure inside the eye increase to a level that damages the optic nerve. It is called glaucoma and can leave you blind if not treated promptly. Unfortunately, when not treated and blindness occurs, it cannot be reversed.

Causes and Risk Factors for Glaucoma Aqueous humor, the fluid inside the eye, flows through a channel. When this channel is blocked, pressure builds up inside the eye. Scientists do not know what causes the blockages. Some researchers believe it is genetic.

Other things can cause glaucoma – eye injury, severe eye infection, blocked blood vessels, and some inflammatory diseases. Glaucoma affects both eyes; however, one eye may be worse than the other.
Risk factors associated with glaucoma include age (over 40), certain ethnic groups (African American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit, and Scandinavian), diabetes, family history, steroid drugs (prednisone), seizure medicines, and even over-the-counter cold remedies.

Types and Symptoms of Glaucoma There are many types of glaucoma. A few include open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common type. It is sometimes referred to as wide-angle glaucoma. Angle-closure glaucoma is more common in Asia and is also called acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma. Angle-closure glaucoma has been linked to farsightedness and cataracts.

Secondary glaucoma is caused when another ailment is present, such as diabetes or cataracts. Normal-tension glaucoma is the term used when blind spots occur in your vision. This is because damage to the optic nerve restricts specific fields of view from making it to the brain. Optic nerve damage can occur without increased pressure in the eye.

People with open-angle glaucoma have no symptoms. However, if your peripheral vision is fading, you should consider getting checked for glaucoma. Some people see halos around lights. Vision loss, eye pain, and eye redness are symptomatic. In addition, glaucoma has been known to cause vomiting and stomach issues.

New Genetic Test for Glaucoma Scientists in the United Kingdom and Australia have been testing blood and saliva to identify more accurately people at more risk of getting glaucoma. This experimental testing protocol was published in the latest issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

Two thousand five hundred people in Australia (with glaucoma) and over 400,000 people in Britain – with and without glaucoma were tested. As a result, blood and saliva analyses could screen for glaucoma fifteen times better than current technology. This testing was done to provide the baseline for further clinical trials now scheduled in 2022.

Glaucoma Treatments Prescription eye drops can lower the pressure inside the eye; however, the side effects are allergies, redness, stinging, and blurred vision. Glaucoma drugs have been known to affect both the heart and lungs. Oral medications (beta-blockers and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors) increase eye fluid drainage resulting in lowered pressure inside the eye.

Some doctors elect to use laser surgery (trabeculoplasty) to clear blockages causing increased pressure. Iridotomy creates very tiny holes in the iris to allow eye fluid to drain more freely. Another common laser surgery is cyclophotocoagulation to focuses on the middle layer of the eye to lower fluid production.


Our eyesight is precious. The gradual loss of vision over time is hard to quantify if you are not having your eyes checked, usually, every three to five years if you are over 40.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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