Glaucoma: Formation, Symptoms & Natural Ways of Treatment


Glaucoma is a common eye disease that can be very chronic and can lead to blindness faster than cataracts if not properly handled.

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerves of the eye resulting in loss of vision or blindness.

It can be inherited and can stay for many years without showing up.

It can be chronic as well lasting for years but when the effects becomes outstanding, quick steps have to be taken in order to eliminate it.

In Nigeria, over 100,000 (one hundred thousand) cases of glaucoma are being reported yearly.

How is Glaucoma Formed?

Glaucoma occurs when the eye’s optic nerves begins to deteriorate leading to high fluid pressure on the front part of the eye. The optic nerves is a nerve which enables the eyes to transmit images to the brain. It is made up of millions of nerves fibers.

When there is an increased pressure in the eye called the intraocular pressure, the optic nerves tend to get damaged thereby resulting in glaucoma.

If the damage to the nerves persist is can result in blindness.

Factors that increase the risk of glaucoma

Age: Age is one of the most common factor that triggers the risk of many eye problems and other forms of disease. People of age over 60 are at an increased risk of glaucoma, the risk usually begins from the age of 40. At this age you have to be conscious of the changes that is occurring in your eye and consult your doctor.

Health problems: People that suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure as well as heart disease are at an increased risk of developing this eye disease

Race: Race is another factor that triggers the risk of contracting glaucoma. It is believed that the African-American race have a higher chance of developing this eye problem Also the people of the African descents. The Asian descents are at an increased risk of angle-closure glaucoma, the Japanese descents are at an increased risk of low-tension glaucoma.

Environmental factors: Exposure of the eye to toxic chemicals and rays can increase the pressure on the optic nerve. And also other forms of environmental factors can increase the risk

Medicinal use: The use of medicines such as corticosteroids in excess leads to an increased risk of secondary glaucoma.

Other factors includes;

Thin cornea

Family history

Eye problems


Types of Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma- It can also be called wide-angle glaucoma. This is the most common type of glaucoma. Whenever anyone suffers from this type,  fluids are unable to flow through the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork has a drain structure but even under the process, it still looks normal. Symptoms includes nausea, pains and blurred vision.

Angle-closure glaucoma– This type occurs when the aqueous humor fluid in the eye is blocked causing a buildup of fluids in the eye which results in an increase in the eye pressure that is very severe and painful.

Secondary glaucoma- This is an independent type of glaucoma i.e it is formed from an existing eye problem such as cataract or tumors or it can be as a result of an injury. Also an excessive use of corticosteroid can also result in this type of glaucoma.

Normal Tension Glaucoma- This has to do with the damage to the optic nerves without any increased eye pressure. This might be as a result of improper circulation of blood in the optic nerve.

Congenital glaucoma- Here, children have a defect in the angle of the eye. Because of this defect, the drainage of fluid is being slowed down. Symptoms such as cloudy vision, sensitivity to light etc. It is an hereditary type of glaucoma.

Causes of glaucoma

Since this eye problem is as a result of increased pressure in the eye, the causes of glaucoma are linked to the factors that leads to the increase although there has been no specific factor but the following factors are assumed to be the cause of glaucoma. They include:

  • Use of medications such as corticosteroids
  • Blocked or restricted drainage in the eye
  • Improper flow of blood into the optic nerves
  • High blood pressure
  • Use of dilating eye drop
  • Already existing eye problem such as cataract
  • It can also be an effect of diabetes

Symptoms of glaucoma

  • Redness of the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Disturbances in eye sight
  • Rings around light
  • Glare
  • Nausea
  • It can also lead to vomiting

Tests for diagnosing glaucoma

 The test is to check for some signs of damages in the nerves as well as loss of nerve tissues. The type of tests includes;

  • Tonometry test: This type of test is done to measure the internal pressure of the eye
  • Pachymetry test: It is used to ascertain the shape of the cornea. A very thin cornea can increase the risk of this eye disease.
  • Perimetry test: It is also called visual field test, it helps the doctor to know if your vision is being affected by glaucoma. This test is carried out by measuring the peripheral vision, side vision and central vision.
  • Optic nerves monitoring: This is done by taking a photograph of the optic nerves and conducting a side-by-side comparison.

Medical Ways of Treating Glaucoma        

  • Use of IPO reducing medicines- This type of medicines are in eye drops, pills or in capsules example is the vision vitale capsules which provides 100% cure to glaucoma.
  • Surgical operation: It can also be treated by surgical operation. The surgery is done to destroy tissues that causes increase in fluid pressure and to create a path of drainage for fluids.
  • Angle closure glaucoma can be treated medically by laser iridotomy. Laser iridotomy is a process of creating small holes in the iris to allow increased fluid movement.

Natural ways of treating glaucoma

Fruits: Eating fruits high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and also red and yellow colour fruits also helps to keep the eye healthy and regulate the flow of blood in the eye fruits such as carrots, mango, orange, water melon. Blue berries and cherries contains anthocyanidin that helps to fight free radicals in the eye. Strawberries help too.

Diets: Diets that are rich in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, asthaxanthin, carotenoids (Beta Carotene) helps to provide sufficient vitamins to the eye and also improves eye health. Veggies salads and fruits salads are very good for the eye.

How to Cope With Glaucoma

  • Always avoid consuming too much sugar
  • Do not take alcohol
  • Avoid the use of caffeine
  • Prevent food allergies
  • Avoid exposing the eye to bright intense of light as this can affect the optic nerves.

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