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By | Feb. 2012
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An estimated 66.8 million people worldwide have glaucoma; 6.7 million of those cases will become blind from irreversible nerve damage (1803). Glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve and contributes to the loss of peripheral vision and eventually leads to blindness. The authors’ intention of writing this article is to inform and hopefully encourage early detection to reduce cases of this debilitating disease. The purpose of this article is to inform about the different types of glaucoma, risk factors, and the affects of glaucoma on one’s vision and ability to live a normal life.

There are two types of glaucoma. The two types are primary open-angle glaucoma and primary angle-closure glaucoma. Primary open-angle glaucoma occurs mostly in adults. It usually occurs in both the left and right eye. The symptoms of primary open-angle glaucoma do not usually show up until it is too late and the patient ends up blind. Primary angle-closure glaucoma is caused by blockage in the tube connected to the back of iris in the eye. The symptoms of primary angle-closure glaucoma include an increase in eye pressure, headaches, large pupils, eye pain, and nausea. Since primary angle-closure glaucoma has more outstanding symptoms it may be easier to detect.

Both types of glaucoma have similar risk factors. Age, eye pressure, race, genetics, and sex are the main risk factors for glaucoma. The age group that is affected the most by glaucoma is those over 50; people near their 70s have the greatest risk of getting the disease. Although eye pressure is not the only risk factor, it has been proven to be an important risk factor by an experiment. Two scientists proved, through a test using primates, that eye pressure is a cause of optic-nerve damage. Race and sex are also factors into glaucoma. In primary angle-open glaucoma, African- Americans have a higher risk of having the disease over Caucasian. In primary angle-closure glaucoma people of...

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