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Open angle glaucoma

Normally, the human eye produces and drains fluid in the front of the eye at the same rate. In open angle glaucoma, this fluid (called aqueous) does not drain quickly enough. This causes the fluid to build up which then causes an increase in eye pressure. In glaucoma, this pressure results in optic nerve damage and subsequent vision loss. Not everybody who has high eye pressure gets vision loss because everybody’s optic nerve can handle different amounts of pressure.

The common risk factors for open angle glaucoma include the following: age over 60 years, smoking, African American descent, history of diabetes, or family history of glaucoma. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible, so it is important to have regular eye exams for prevention and to slow down any damage. It is recommended that anybody over the age of 40 gets a regular eye examination. The management of open angle glaucoma is to decrease eye pressure via medication, laser and/or surgery to slow the production of fluid and/or increase the rate of drainage of the fluid in the eye.

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