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Glaucoma causes blindness in the second largest number of  people after cataract.  Retinal cells which used for seeing are lost gradually. Increased intraocular pressure increases the risk of glaucoma. About 10% of the people older than 80 years suffer from glaucoma. 

The most common type of  glaucoma is the primary open angle glaucoma , where is a slow, gradual loss of  vision. There are no symptoms. Diabetics and black people are more likely to suffer from this type of  glaucoma. In acute angle closure glaucoma, there is a sudden rise in  intraocular pressure, which causes pain and loss of vision. Asians and women are more likely to suffer from acute angle closure glaucoma.

People with a family history of glaucoma are more likely to suffer from it. Also fluctuations in blood pressure and high blood pressure can increase the chance of  suffering from glaucoma. Trauma to the eye or head injury of any kind increases the risk. Blindness due to glaucoma is irreversible, but can be prevented by treatment by a ophthalmologist.

If  glaucoma is detected in the early stages, it is usually treated by eye drops which reduce the intraocular pressure. Selective adrenergic agonists (marketed as Alphagan eyedrops) stimulate the Alpha2 receptors to  reduce the intraocular pressure. However, many times, people do not use the medications as prescribed. Both laser and conventional surgery are used to treat glaucoma depending on the type of glaucoma and where the patient is being treated.  



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