A clear, watery fluid called the aqueous fluid filtrates the blood that fills the chambers of the eye. This is a source of nourishment because it eliminates waste and cleans the eye. The process of the aqueous fluid flowing in and out creates a pressure that is called the intraocular pressure and the inflow versus the outflow of aqueous fluid is measured. When people have glaucoma, the inflow and outflow of this pressure is not working properly and can be categorized as open angle glaucoma or closed angle glaucoma. With open angle glaucoma, peripheral vision tends to be affected first and if not treated, it can result in a loss of vision.
Closed angle glaucoma is usually painful and sudden and this happens when the aqueous fluid cannot reach the anterior chamber angle. The fluid accumulates and forces the iris to obstruct the trabecular meshwork. When this happens, the function of meshwork fails to respond to the aqueous fluid and this leads to an increase of pressure. Scars can form causing an irreversible block in the aqueous outflow. Vision can be lost.
A routine eye exam is the best way to protect yourself from glaucoma because symptoms usually do not appear until vision has been affected. An early diagnosis can help stop the progression of this eye condition and there are treatments available.