Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Glaucoma unit


What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a degenerative disease of the optic nerve, characterized by the progressive loss of nerve fibres, which will manifest as a gradual loss of the visual field.

As the disease evolves, a series of changes are produced in the optic nerve, which are visible in the fundus exploration.

If the disease is not treated, you can lose all nerve fibres, and therefore become blind.

Why is it produced?

Glaucoma is considered a multifactorial disease, that is, a primary cause that produces this disease is unknown. So far the best known and treatable cause of glaucoma is elevated eye pressure, which causes mechanical damage to the optic nerve. But there are other causes such as genetic predisposition, vascular damage, low blood pressure or metabolic dysregulation.

That's what glaucoma is

How it manifests

Glaucoma is a progressive disease, which is why, in most cases, it does not cause symptoms in its early stages. Instead, as the disease progresses, glaucoma patients notice an increasing loss of visual field, even leading to loss of central vision in the final stages of the disease. Another sign of advanced disease is light adaptation difficulty, in which partial blindness occurs when the patient goes from a dark to a bright place, or vice versa.

Only intense pain occurs in the acute attack of glaucoma, which can be accompanied by redness, nausea, vomiting and blurred vision, from the beginning.

Glaucoma treatments

Glaucoma treatment is focused on lowering intraocular pressure, mainly through drugs (eye drops), but if the desired effects are not achieved, or unwanted side effects occur, laser treatments can be performed.

  • Trabeculoplasty
  • Iridotomy
  • Filtration surgery
  • Drainage implants
  • Cycle-destructive procedure
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)

Glaucoma prevention

It must be taken into account that, despite slowing down the evolution of the disease, the lost vision does not recover. That is why it is advisable to do a complete eye review, in people over 40-45 years of age. In these reviews, the intraocular pressure of the eyes should be measured and check that it is stable.

On the other hand, it is essential to review the risk factors that may predispose to glaucoma and closely monitor each case, in order to treat the disease early. These risk factors are:



There is a very high incidence peak after the age of 60, but it is advisable to carry out check-ups after the age of 40.


Asymptomatic until it has evolved: loss of visual field. In acute cases blurred vision, intense pain, redness, nausea and vomiting.


Both eyes should be checked every year or biannually, recommended from 40-45 years of age.


Carry out check-ups and measure intraocular pressure, which must remain stable.

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