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What Causes Glaucoma in the Eye

what causes glaucoma in the eye

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The average person is going to love eating all different types of fruit, but if there’s one that is not for everyone it’s the grapefruit. Admittedly it is a little bitter in comparison to an orange or pomelo, but it’s still a darn good fruit and plenty of folks make them a part of their breakfast. Now if you were to have an eyeball the size of a grapefruit you would be on freaky looking human, but fortunately blue whales have the skull size needed to have an eyeball of this size. And their grapefruit-sized eyeballs weigh about 3 pounds each. Human eyeballs weigh only a quarter of an ounce, but what causes glaucoma in the eye?

The answer to that is pressure, and if you’re keen to know more about whales then you may also like to know that every time that blue whale comes up and inhales it draws about 5,000 cubic liters or air into its lungs. Everything is bigger, but do whales get glaucoma too? They can, and they can also go blind. Blue whales and gray whales are different obviously, but they’re both mega massive sea mammals and there’s research that shows that whales can lose their vision when exposed to the northern lights – Aurora Borealis.

Another thing you probably didn’t know is that whales grow body hair, although that has nothing to do with their vision – or yours. So again to what causes glaucoma in the eye it is related to pressure, but what is causing the pressure is really the root of the issue and what we’ll be talking here with this entry. And not related so much to conditions like diabetes but more about the body’s response to bacteria entering the body.

Neurons Under Attack

Pressure in the eye is called intraocular pressure, and the reason increasing pressure in the eye is such a problem is because it strains the optic nerve and over time the nerve starts to break down and resulting in vision impairment or loss. Researchers who’ve looked at what causes glaucoma in the eye have determined that much of the time the pressure is the body’s immune system responding to bacteria and Memory T cells getting confused and attack neurons in the eye’s retina. There are all sorts of different types of bacteria in the body at all times, but in these instances it turns out it is stomach bacteria contributing to glaucoma.

While this is newfound information, it joins other types that have been known for a long time with what causes glaucoma in the eye. These causes include:

  • Age – generally being over the age of 60
  • Being of African heritage – glaucoma is 6x more common for African Americans than Caucasian Americans
  • Hereditary – primary open-angle glaucoma is the type of glaucoma that runs in families
  • Steroid use
  • Eye injury
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

It’s a good thing that there are whole lot of rather wild but satisfying life experiences that occur before the age of 30. For a man or women with vision problems at that age they may not only forget what their name was, but also what they even looked like. Risky business? Maybe, but if there is large intraocular pressure before the age of 40 then this is called early-onset glaucoma. Alphagan is a medication that is used to lower intraocular pressure so that there is less risk of permanent damage to the eyeball and the vision loss that goes along with that.

Eat Carrots

We’ve talked about what causes glaucoma in the eye, and using a glaucoma treatment medication works well for most people to keep glaucoma in check and preventing eye health from deteriorating any further. Some people won’t get the same response from it though, and they may need to have laser surgery for glaucoma or drainage implant surgery. For people who are doing well with medication their doctor may recommend that they help by adding to their diet.

Eating foods high in carotenoids (orange and yellow vegetables), anthocyanidins (blueberries and cherries), along with fresh fish is a good idea, and you can also aid in glaucoma treatment by supplementing with chromium. All of this is important, and especially when you consider how traumatic it would be to suffer significant vision loss. You may not have grapefruit-sized eyes, and you may not be the biggest creature in the ocean either. But your vision is among the most important of the senses and you need to make sure you’re not putting it at risk by ignoring the feelings of pressure in the eye.

That’s all for what causes glaucoma in the eye, and some of these medications may be used to reduce hypertension too as it has the same functional workings in the body and related to the same type of pressure buildup.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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