Glaucoma is a disorder in which there is excess fluid build up within the eye. Due to this fluid build up the intraocular pressure rises and can cause the destruction of optic nerve if left untreated. The cause of this fluid build up within the eye can be various.
1. Excessive Fluid Secretions- The fluid secretions within the eye are done by the cilliary glands present within the eye. These glands are activated by beta – adrenergic receptors to secrete aqueous humor which is the fluid present within the eye.
2. Improper Aqueous Humor Drainage- The aqueous humor which is secreted by the cilliary epithelium needs to be drained out of the eye. The drainage system within the eye consists of the Canal of Schlemm (also known as Schlemm’s Canal and the scleral visceral sinus) is a circular drain like channel which removes the aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye into the bloodstream. This canal is covered by the trabecular network which is a mesh like filter through which the aqueous humor must drain through. Clogging of this mesh like trabecular network or blockage of the canal of schlemm because of debris build up due to injury or infection causes the improper aqueous humor drainage which then results in increase in intraocular pressure and glaucoma.
Narrow Angled Glaucoma- Another cause of improper drainage involves the reduction of the angle between the iris and the lens. In this the iris folds up and touches the lens causing a blockage to the flow of the aqueous humor towards the canal of schlemm. This type of glaucoma is known as narrow angled glaucoma and can be treated by iridectomy which is the cutting of the iris using a laser to relieve the pressure within the eye.