Think Thursdays 001 - Glaucoma

Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, this is the very first entry I will make for AnythingRad's new segment "Think Thursdays". :) So today, I will share to you something I learned from one of our ward discussions. It's about a fairly rare type of glaucoma; nonetheless, this is considered an emergency case for it may lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. Our concern for today is about an eye condition named acute angle-closure glaucoma.

Glaucoma typically can be divided into two kinds - Open Angle and Close Angle. The eye, similar to all other body parts, also need nutrients to run down their course; this is transported through the aqueous flow of the eye. Aqueous humor flows from the ciliary body to the posterior chamber, to the anterior chamber, then out through the trabecular meshwork where it drains into the canal of Schlemm (drainage canal). However, there will be situations that this physiological flow is not met for instance in glaucoma.


Open angle glaucoma is when the flow easily enters and passes the areas aforementioned above except that flow is obstructed once it needs to be drained in the canal of Schlemm. With this, the fluid does not freely drain, hence an increased amount of fluid is trapped thereby increasing the intraocular pressure even more. As time goes by, this pressure could not be sustained within a close system – there would be damage to the optic nerve and hence loss of sight.



On the other hand, the close angle glaucoma pertains to the obstruction of the iris to the lens thereby blocking the flow of the aqueous flow towards the anterior chamber. Unlike the open angle which are into problems of draining, close angle focuses more on the trapping of flow up to the posterior chamber in such a way that it could not pass to the anterior chamber to be drained in the drainage canal of Schlemm.

Although both open and close angle glaucomas increase the intraocular pressure of the eye, the latter is more alarming as it usually happens abruptly due to the abrupt increase in the intraocular pressure leading as well to more severe complications and abrupt vision loss.

Now, how can we differentiate the two?

In acute angle-closure glaucoma, the progression of symptoms are rapid and are associated with redness and mild to severe pain . This is also accompanied by blurring of vision, halos around lights, headache, and even nausea and vomiting. 

On the other hand, patients who happen to have open-angle glaucoma do not present with abrupt symptoms. The progression of disease is slower and symptoms are seldom observed. Once the disease progresses to severe stage, however, some patients may complain of vision loss especially at the periphery initially. The chronic types of angle-closure and open angle glaucomas, moreover, are usually asymptomatic; if ever there would be symptoms, they are usually mild and non-distressing at first.

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Well, that's about our first entry for our new segment 'Think Thursdays' in AnythingRad! There's more about this condition in various references. My readings are based from Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine.

This entry may sound really different compared to anything personal, sassy things, or travel finds-type of entries I have made, but this change is somewhat interesting for me because this would also let me share the other side of my life... the one that focuses on the academe and fun learning! This is my take in breaking the wall between the two sides of my persona. Sharing both sides of my world would, I guess, equate to knowing me more in a whole new level.  So until next time! 

xoxo.

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