Glaucoma is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve results in vision loss. There are several forms of glaucoma; the two most common forms are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG). Open-angle glaucoma is often called “the sneak thief of sight” because it has no symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred.
There are typically no early warning signs or symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years.
Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision at first because the initial loss of vision is of side or peripheral vision, and the visual acuity or sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease.
By the time a patient is aware of vision loss, the disease is usually quite advanced. Vision loss from glaucoma is not reversible with treatment, even with surgery.
Because open-angle glaucoma has few warning signs or symptoms before damage has occurred, it is important to see a doctor for regular eye examinations. If glaucoma is detected during an eye exam, your eye doctor can prescribe a preventative treatment to help protect your vision.
In open-angle glaucoma, the angle in your eye where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be, but the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time, causing an increase in internal eye pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve.
You are at increased risk of glaucoma if your parents or siblings have the disease, and possibly if you are diabetic or have cardiovascular disease. The risk of glaucoma also increases with age.
In angle-closure glaucoma (also called narrow angle glaucoma), the angle is closed in many or most areas, causing increased eye pressure, which leads to optic nerve damage, and possible vision loss. This rise in eye pressure may occur suddenly (an acute attack of angle closure) or gradually.
Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma are very noticeable and damage occurs quickly. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate care from an ophthalmologist.
One of the best therapies for treating glaucoma is the Trans PRK Refined method. In this method, non-invasive laser surgery is used to treat glaucoma. In this method, the laser radiation for each patient is adjusted individually based on the statistical and optical parameters specific to each individual.