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What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is elevated eye pressure that can lead to blindness by damaging the retina and optic nerve. Normal eye pressure is on average 15-20 mm Hg for the dog and cat. When eye pressure is elevated above normal and evidence of ocular damage in the eye is occurring, glaucoma is present.
What are the clinical signs of glaucoma?
Blindness that may be temporary or permanent, red eye (a bloodshot eye), and a blue/white haze to the surface of the eye from excess fluid in the cornea (corneal edema).
What causes glaucoma?
The eye continuously makes fluid (aqueous humor) to provide nutrients to the eye and maintain intraocular pressure. This fluid is drained from the eye continuously as well to maintain the balance. When fluid cannot be drained from the eye fast enough, glaucoma occurs.
What are the consequences of glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a blinding disease in which the high eye pressures destroy the retina and optic nerve. Glaucoma can also cause internal eye inflammation (uveitis) and other intraocular problems like luxated lenses.
What is the prognosis for vision with glaucoma?
Acute (short term like a day or two) glaucoma can often be treated so that vision is restored for some time.
How is glaucoma treated?
Aggressive treatment in sudden, short-term glaucoma may restore vision. In animals with some vision remaining, treatment usually consists of long-term medications to control the eye pressure.