Being under pressure can help some people work at their highest level, but over time, stress and pressure can be bad for your health. This is also true when it comes to pressure and eye health. When the eye’s optic nerve experiences an increase in intraocular pressure (IOC), you can loose your sight to the disease called glaucoma.
It’s a sneaky disease
The most common form of glaucoma is practically symptom-free until it’s too late. It causes no pain, and the damage it causes is gradual. There are two main forms of glaucoma:
1.) The sneaky nature of chronic open angle glaucoma
While the structures within the eye will continue to appear normal, chronic open angle glaucoma causes the fluid to not be able to drain properly. This is serious because the aqueous humor, a clear liquid which constantly flows in and out of the eye, is critical for nourishing the eye tissue, including:
- Carrying away waste
- Keeping the pressure in the eye at a normal level
The production of aqueous humor must be balanced by an equal amount of drainage because an imbalance will cause eye pressure to rise. High pressure damages the optic nerve and blood vessels.
Early diagnosis is key
Chronic open angle glaucoma can cause loss of peripheral vision and eventually, blindness. So it’s important that it’s caught early and controlled so that any type of permanent vision loss can be prevented.
2.) The critical nature of acute narrow angle glaucoma
Abnormal structures in the front of the eye block the fluid from draining, causing an intense and sudden rise in intraocular pressure. Possible symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Eye redness
- Extreme pain
Emergency treatment is key
Acute closed angle glaucoma can result in blindness within days and must be treated as an emergency.
Knowing your risk
You could be at greater risk for developing glaucoma if you’re over age 40 and/or African-American, have high blood pressure, diabetes or smoke.