General information on Glaucoma
Glaucoma is unusually high pressure of the aqueous humor fluid in the eye. Glaucoma is a very serious disease that, when not treated, can lead to blindness. The pressure in the eye is caused by a problem with the drainage within the eye. The eye is constantly producing and draining fluids and when the fluids do not properly drain, they build up in the eye causing high amounts of pressure. These high amounts of pressure can damage the optic nerve and retina which then leads to vision loss.
There are two types of glaucoma.
The first type of glaucoma is primary. Primary glaucoma is hereditary and usually indicates a problem with the area where the fluid drains in the eye and is either a structural or functional problem. In cases of primary glaucoma, the second eye is usually affected within two years of the first eye. The second type of glaucoma is secondary. Secondary glaucoma usually develops as a result of other diseases or disorders within the eye. Glaucoma can also either be acute or chronic depending on how rapidly the disease progresses and how long the disease has been present. Acute glaucoma can cause blindness in a matter of hours.
Symptoms of Glaucoma
Some of the symptoms for acute glaucoma may be excruciating pain, redness, tearing, squinting, enlarged pupils, the eye feels harder than normal, and a dull opaque appearance. The eye may also have a fixed blank look due to the dull opaque appearance of the cornea. Some of the symptoms for chronic glaucoma may be protrusion of the eyeball, redness, tender to pressure, and the eye may feel harder than normal. In many instances the eye may be blind.
Treatments for Glaucoma
The treatment for glaucoma is medication that will lower the pressure in the eye from the fluids. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of the glaucoma. In some instances the veterinarian will give the dog carbonic anhydrase inhibitors that block the enzymes that produce the fluids. Topical medications may also be given to regulate the production and flow of the fluids by constricting the pupil. If medications prove to be unaffected, surgery may be required.
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Glaucoma - personal experiences
Glaucoma experience by - Danielle
British Columbia, Canada
I took my dog to the vet for mild seizure-like episodes. While there, the doctor noticed that his pupils were very large and wanted to test the pressure. It turns out, they were twice what they should be and he would have gone blind within hours had it gone untreated (had I not had a vet appointment!). He is on three different medications to reduce the pressure and keep it controlled. It has been guessed that the Glaucoma is a symptom of another disease, perhaps linked to the seizure-like episodes. Almost $1500 later, we are still struggling to find the cause.
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