Glaucoma

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Glaucoma is an optic nerve disease which involves the loss of retinal ganglion cells. It is generally caused by increased intraocular pressure called ocular hypertension, which damages the optic nerve and retinal cells. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. One in two hundred people aged fifty and younger suffer from glaucoma, and one in ten over the age of eighty. If the disease is detected early enough it is possible to stop its development with medical and surgical means.

Glaucoma is divided into two main categories, chronic glaucoma and acute glaucoma. Chronic glaucoma develops more slowly; so the patient may not notice it until the disease has progressed quite significantly. Acute glaucoma appears suddenly and often with painful side effects and so is usually diagnosed quickly.