What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition of the human eye where the optic nerve (the one that carries signals from the eye to the brain) gets damaged due to excessive pressure inside your eye. Since the optic nerve is the primary carrier of visual stimulus to the brain, damage to it could actually result in significant loss of vision. Glaucoma generally affects both the eyes, although the pressure inside each eye could be different.
Glaucoma The Inside Story
We’ve been talking about this pressure building up inside your eyes for some time now. But why exactly would there be an increase in pressure, all of a sudden? So here’s what happens inside your eyes. The human eye can be divided into two segments – the anterior chamber that’s in front of the lens and the posterior chamber that’s behind the lens. Now, in the anterior chamber, the space between the cornea and our natural lens is filled with a fluid called aqueous humor. This fluid (which contains nutrients for the eye) is generated in the anterior chamber and is drained out of the eye through a mesh like structure. So as long as this production & drainage equation is proportionate, there’s no problem. However, the slightest of changes to production/draining equilibrium could result in increased intraocular pressure (intraocular – inside the eye chamber). And the rest, you already know – pressure leads to damage of optic nerve which in turn leads to loss of vision. Wide-angle and narrow-angle are the two types of glaucoma that you’ll generally come across and both result in increased intraocular pressure.