“What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged in a characteristic pattern. This can permanently damage vision in the affected eye(s) and lead to blindness if left untreated. It is normally associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye (aqueous humor). The term “ocular hypertension” is used for people with consistently raised intraocular pressure (IOP) without any associated optic nerve damage. Conversely, the term ‘normal tension’ or ‘low tension’ glaucoma is used for those with optic nerve damage and associated visual field loss, but normal or low IOP.
Glaucoma: What is the optic nerve?
The optic nerve is made up of over 1.2 million axons (individual nerve fibers). It serves as a relay between the retina and the brain. The retina absorbs the external light waves and transmits them via the optic nerve to the brain.
What are the different forms of glaucoma?
The most common form of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). PAOG is the 2nd leading cause of blindness in the United States. There are other forms of glaucoma including low tension glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, angle closure glaucoma, and the broad category of secondary glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma includes for example, neovascular glaucoma (associated with diabetes), inflammatory glaucoma (associated with autoimmune and inflammatory disease) and medically induced (often associated with steroids).
At FERST (Florida Eye Research and surgical institute), we are using the latest and most sensitive technology to monitor the optic nerve in an effort to preserve vision as well as the utilization of cutting-edge treatment modalities