Image for Glaucoma
Glaucoma

Related Terms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Background

  • Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions caused by increased intraocular (inside the eye) pressure, or IOP, resulting either from a malformation or malfunction of the eye's drainage system. Left untreated, an elevated IOP may cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve and retinal fibers resulting in a progressive, permanent loss of vision. However, early detection and treatment can slow or even halt the progression of the disease.
  • Most individuals with glaucoma are not aware of problems with their vision. This is because the central vision (for reading and recognizing people) is only affected when glaucoma has advanced to a late stage. Even when central vision is still good, glaucoma may affect the vision needed for driving and other daily functions, including seeing steps or reading.
  • For most glaucoma sufferers, the main effect of the condition is the inconvenience of taking eye drops daily. Blindness from glaucoma is rare. If blindness does occur, it is usually because the glaucoma is already advanced when it is first diagnosed, because the eye pressure has not responded well to treatment, or because patients have not used their prescription eye drops regularly.
  • Healthcare professionals recommend that individuals at risk for glaucoma should get eye exams at least every two years. According to the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), higher risk populations include African Americans over age 40, individuals over age 60 (especially Mexican Americans), and individuals with a family history of glaucoma. Inhaled steroids, such as beclomethasone (Beclovent®), fluticosone (Flovent®), and budesonide (Pulmicort®), may also increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
  • Further content available for subscribers only.

Causes

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Risk Factors

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Types of Glaucoma

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Diagnosis

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Complications

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Treatment

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Integrative Therapies

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Prevention

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.