When the aqueous humor circulates badly and / or is poorly absorbed, an increase in the pressure of the eye appears. When the pressure reaches a certain level, it causes irreversible damage to the retina and the optic nerve.
In open-angle glaucoma, this excess pressure is progressive. In narrow-angle glaucoma, the circulation of the aqueous humor is blocked by the closure of the angle, and the intraocular pressure increases sharply.
The causes of this intraocular hyperpressure are variable. Several risk factors for glaucoma have been recognized:
- Age :
Glaucoma appears more readily after 40 years but there are infantile glaucoma, severe congenital.
- Sex and ethnicity :
Black people and women are more prone to glaucoma.
- Genetic causes:
Genetic factors also come into play.
- Refractive disorders:
Myopia and hyperopia increase the risk of having glaucoma.
- Other risk factors
Diabetes, the consumption of corticosteroids or psychotropic drugs are factors that favor the appearance of glaucoma.
There is another type of glaucoma, called normal pressure glaucoma, for which the intraocular pressure remains normal. In this case, the supposed cause is an anomaly of perfusion of the optic nerve.
See also our video: research on glaucoma and its origins
A team of researchers investigated the origins of glaucoma symptoms and managed to preserve vision in rats with this condition. Would a new treatment for glaucoma in humans be in sight?