Middlebrook Animal Clinic

9229 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, TN 37931

(865)691-8577

middlebrookanimal.com

Leading Cause of Blindness  - Glaucoma

What is glaucoma?
  It is where the eye experiences increased fluid pressure (increased intraocular pressure).  Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness.  Sadly, it may go undetected until vision loss and blindness have occurred.

Glaucoma Warning Signs
It is important to recognize glaucoma as early as possible. The faster treatment is started, the greater the chance of saving vision in the affected eye.
·         Pain – characterized by loss of appetite, depression, pawing at the eye(s) or rubbing the face
·         A Dilated Pupil
·         Cloudiness within the Cornea
·         Red or Bloodshot Eye(s)
·         Loss of Vision


The fluid inside the eyeball is called humor.  Since there are no blood vessels going to the cornea and lens of the eye, it is the job of the humor to supply them with nutrients and oxygen.  There are cells called the ciliary body that produce this fluid in side the eyeball.  These fluids drain out of the eyeball where the cornea meets the iris at the iridocorneal angle.

With glaucoma, the fluid does not drain correctly from the eye, and as a result, the trapped fluid causes the pressure of the eye to rise.  So the eye is like a water balloon -- it should have a set amount of fluid within it.  What happens when that fluid increases more than it should?  The balloon, or the globe of the eye, becomes stretched.

Sometimes the rise in fluid pressure can happen very quickly, in a matter of hours.  Sometimes, it builds slowly over time.  In either case, the abnormally high pressure causes damage to the retina and the optic nerve, leading to blindness.  The timing at which such a condition is diagnosed and treated can save your pet pain, suffering and possibly blindness.