If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, your risk of developing glaucoma is greatly increased. If so, you should have your eyes checked by your eye doctor to avoid the following three ways glaucoma can damage your eyes.
Increased Pressure Can Rupture Capillaries
The main characteristic of glaucoma is an increased pressure inside your eyeballs. This increase in pressure makes it difficult for the fluid inside your eyes to drain properly, compounding the problem further.
As the fluid increasingly presses against the outer walls of your eyes, the tiny capillaries can break. This reduces the amount of blood flow and nourishment that is able to reach your eyes, eventually causing a decrease in vision.
Optic Nerves Are Damaged
The pressure caused by glaucoma does not only harm the capillaries in your eyeballs. The buildup of fluid also starts pressing on the optic nerves, located at the back of your eyes.
These nerves are the central conduits leading from your eyes to your brain. When you have glaucoma, the nerves first become pinched, leading to brief moments of blurry vision.
However, if the nerves become permanently damaged, you could lose your eyesight entirely. Because this typically can happen in the later stages of glaucoma, early identification and treatment of the disease are vital.
Corneas Become Thick
Another thing that happens to your eyes when you have glaucoma is that the corneas become thick. When the pressure inside the eyes increases, the corneas compensate by adding layers of tissue to the lens. This defense mechanism is in place to keep the fluid inside the eyes and to prevent the walls from rupturing.
As the corneas thicken, you may have difficulty seeing clearly. Everything may seem as though they are in a fog. If the condition is not treated, the corneas can become so thick that they become calcified, making it nearly impossible to see through the lenses.
When the corneas become calcified and damaged, you may also develop cataracts. This adjunct disease will then worsen your vision, possibly leading to blindness if not treated.
If you suspect you may have glaucoma or are high risk for it, you should have your eyes checked regularly. Make an appointment with your optometrist to discuss your concerns so they can perform the necessary tests during an eye exam to catch the condition early so they can promptly start treatment that could help save your eyesight.
Contact an expert like Dr. Michael B. Wardell for more information.