Glaucoma: Causes and Advanced Treatment Alternatives

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness around the world. It occurs as a result of the damage to your optic nerve. To say, in short, the optic nerve carries the images that fall on your eyes back to the brain as signals. Timely detection and intervention are crucial to prevent irreversible eye damage, and that’s where advanced glaucoma treatment plays a vital role.

General symptoms of glaucoma

These symptoms occur for those affected by glaucoma, but there could be different symptoms for different types. These include

  • Eye discomfort
  • Eye pain
  • Regular headaches
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Red eyes
  • Blurring of vision
  • Rainbow-like rings
  • Regular itching & irritation 

Types of glaucoma

There are five different types of glaucoma 

  1. Open-angle glaucoma: One of the most common types of glaucoma where the symptoms aren’t easily visible. 
  2. Closed-angle glaucoma: This could be quite bad because severe headaches and blurred vision put instant pressure on the eyes. This pressure is because of the aqueous humor liquid collection at the back of the eye.
  3. Congenital glaucoma: It is present from birth due to genetic inheritance. Hence, the eyes don’t drain fluid properly, leading to congestion.
  4. Secondary glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is the result of a side effect from a medical condition or trauma. This could be due to steroid usage, diabetes, trauma of the eye or other conditions. 
  5. Malignant glaucoma: Also known as aqueous misdirection syndrome, it’s an extremely rare form of glaucoma. But it is an emergency if it occurs.
Causes of glaucoma

In the eyes, a liquid called ‘aqueous humor’ is generated at the back. So, this is usually spread evenly to the front of your eyes through the iris and cornea. But if this process is blocked for some reason, it creates an Intraocular pressure or IOP. Hence, this IOP becomes the reason for the optic nerve damage, which results in glaucoma. 

Additionally, other possible causes could also include

  • High blood pressure
  • Reaction to medications
  • Blood flow issues
  • Eye drops used for dilation

There are exceptional cases where glaucoma is caused by normal pressure. 

Treatment of glaucoma

Glaucoma is treated either through medicines or surgery.

Eye drops, ointments or oral medications are prescribed to reduce the Intraocular Pressure. But when it doesn’t stay under control and continues blocking the fluid drainage, your doctor may recommend surgery to reduce the pressure and create a drainage passage. An example is angle-closure glaucoma.

Alternative treatment methods for glaucoma

Significant research has been going on about the effect of alternative treatment mechanisms for glaucoma. The US Government National Institute of Health speaks on the potential of the following alternative treatment mechanisms.

  •  Gingko Biloba
  •  Baikal Skullcap or Chinese Skullcap
  • Coleus Forskohlii
  • Erigeron Breviscapus (DengZhanHua in Chinese)
  • Goji Berry/WolfBerry
  • Persimmon
  • Thunder God Vine (traditional Chinese medicine)
  • Saffron
  • Curcumin (in Turmeric)
  • Green Tea extract
  • Panax Ginseng
  • Cannabis Sativa
  • Anthocyanins (found in fruits, plants & flowers)
  • Resveratrol (found in berries, grapes, pomegranates & red wine)
  • Hesperidin (found in citrus fruits)
  • Caffeine
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Certain vitamins such as A, C & E

As research keeps advancing, alternative treatment mechanisms could help prevent the progress of glaucoma. Whenever you intend to consider alternative glaucoma treatment mechanisms, make sure you talk to your doctor first.

Sharat Maxivision is the best eye hospital in Warangal. If you’re facing issues with glaucoma, get in touch with us at the earliest.