Doctor's Notes on Normal-Tension Glaucoma
Normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) is a loss of vision even though the pressure inside the eye is normal or low. Other than the gradual loss of vision in the eye, there are no signs or symptoms.
The cause of normal-tension glaucoma is likely optic nerve damage despite normal or low eye pressure. The disease may run in families and be inherited, with risk factors of anatomic abnormalities where the optic nerve crosses bone or by irregularities in blood flow to the optic nerve. Associated risk factors include
What Is the Treatment of Normal Pressure Glaucoma?
There are very many drugs (over 30) that may be used alone or in combination to treat normal pressure glaucoma. Their use is intended to reduce intraocular pressure and prevent damage to the optic nerve. The following is a list of drug types your eye doctor may choose for your problem:
- Alpha agonists: decrease eye fluid, increases drainage
- Beta-blockers: decrease eye fluid production
- Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors: decrease eye fluid
- Cholinergic: increase eye fluid drainage
- Prostaglandin analogs: increase eye fluid outflow
- Rho kinase inhibitors: improves fluid outflow
Eye surgery may be done if medications fail. There are two major types:
- Laser surgery can open the eye's drainage system.
- Incisional surgery makes a hole to make an artificial drain in the eye to reduce pressure.
Must Read Articles:
Adult Glaucoma SuspectGlaucoma is usually high pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve and can result in permanent vision loss. Various exams and tests are used to diagnose the disease.
GlaucomaGlaucoma can be caused by a number of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve, typically by elevating pressure inside the eye, which is called intraocular pressure (IOP) or ocular hypertension. Symptoms begin slowly and include vision loss and irregularities, eye pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Beta-blockers, Alpha-adrenergic agonists, and prostaglandin analogs are drugs used to treat glaucoma. Sometimes surgery is necessary, especially with congenital glaucoma. The disease is not curable but can be managed.
Glaucoma FAQsGlaucoma is usually high pressure inside the eye that damages the optic nerve and can result in permanent vision loss. While high pressure inside the eye, damage to the optic nerve and vision loss are common criteria for diagnosing glaucoma, glaucoma can be present without all three of these criteria. The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma. Glaucoma may be symptomless until significant permanent vision damage has occured, but may show symptoms as well, including pain, redness, haloes, and blurred vision.
How to Instill Your Eye DropsIf you have glaucoma, you most likely use one or more kinds of eye drops. Several tips can help make sure you avoid infection and get the medicine where it needs to go, such as waiting for several minutes between drops, wash your hands before administering the drops, and being careful not to touch your eye with the dropper, among other tips.
Primary Open-Angle GlaucomaGlaucoma describes chronic high pressure within the eyeball. The pressure eventually causes nerve damage, though glaucoma can still occur without elevated pressure. Primary open-angle glaucoma is a subtype of the disease characterized by atrophy of the optic disc in the back oif the eye and other problems.
What Is the First Sign of Glaucoma?My grandfather’s ophthalmologist recently diagnosed him with glaucoma. I’m a black man, and I know African Americans are at higher risk for glaucoma. I also know it can be hereditary. I want to be sure I don’t miss any symptoms so I can get treatment right away. What’s the first sign of glaucoma?
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.