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Q: Glaucoma ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Glaucoma
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: overmyhead1382-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 23 Apr 2006 14:45 PDT
Expires: 23 May 2006 14:45 PDT
Question ID: 722052
My dad is currently diagnosed with glaucoma, and I want some answers
regarding this disease
1) Are hormonal imbalances related to eye nerve damage?  
2) Does tearing of the eyes have to do with eye pressure?  
3) Is glaucoma part of the aging process or simply a disease?
Subject: Re: Glaucoma
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 24 Apr 2006 18:58 PDT
Hello overmyhead1382-ga!

I am sorry to hear that your father is dealing with glaucoma and hope
that the information that I?ve found is useful to him as well as
yourself. I will assume that you are fairly familiar with glaucoma in
general so I will address each of your three questions specifically.

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Damage to the optic nerve can occur when a swollen eye compresses it.
One common reason is Grave?s disease, caused by an excess of thyroid
hormones. ?When swelling occurs within the orbit, the optic nerve can
become crushed, resulting in loss of vision.?

Other disorders of the optic nerve include optic neuritis
(inflammation of the nerve), optic neuropathy (damage to the nerve),
and papilledema (pressure in or around the brain causing compression
to the nerve where it enters the eye). Neuritis can be caused by
?viral infection (especially in children), vaccination, meningitis,
syphilis, certain autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and
intraocular [within the eye] inflammation.? Neuropathy occurs as a
result of diminished blood supply (as in atherosclerosis or
vasculitis), certain toxins (such as lead, methanol, ethylene
glycol?antifreeze, among others), and nutritional deficiencies,
especially vitamin B12.

Hormonal imbalances or deficiencies are not traditionally thought of
as causes of optic nerve damage. Glaucoma can certainly contribute,
however, with its increasing intraocular pressure and resultant
pressure on the optic nerve.

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Eye tearing is usually a result of some sort of irritation to the
surface of the eye. Common causes include infection, foreign body,
scratches, allergies, or even a dry eye. Occasionally a blocked tear
duct can be a cause of watery eyes.

I found another excellent list of causes of eye tearing. I?ve included
some of the main ones (there are some repeats from the list above):

* Headache
* Sinusitis
* Eye irritation (smoke, infection, wind, eyelash in the eye, foreign
body, contact lens irritation, eye strain)
* Spicy foods
* Pain
* Allergies (seasonal, pet, etc.)
* Dry eyes
* Eyelid disorders
* Lupus

Although I found a number of lists, nowhere was glaucoma or increased
eye pressure listed as a cause of eye tearing. It also has not
appeared on any lists for common symptoms of glaucoma.

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Glaucoma is simply increased intraocular pressure (IOP) or pressure
within the eye. It can be caused when there is too much fluid (aqueous
humor) produced in the eye, or too little fluid draining from the eye.
Drainage occurs at the angle between the iris (or colored portion) and
the cornea (the outermost layer of the eye). There is a simple diagram
available at

Chronic glaucoma occurs when the aqueous humor cannot drain
sufficiently, leading to increased pressure. Common risk factors are:

* Age?about 1% of people age 60-64 have glaucoma, and by the time
people reach 80 years old, the rate triples to about 3%.
* Some medical conditions?diabetes, extreme nearsightedness, prior eye
surgery, and any conditions requiring the long-term use of oral or
inhaled steroids can increase one?s risk.
* Race?African-Americans are four times more likely than whites to
develop glaucoma, and their risk increases beyond age 45 rather than
age 60 for whites. Among whites, people of Scandinavian, Irish, or
Russian descent have a slightly higher risk.
* Family history?like many diseases and conditions, glaucoma tends to
run in families.

Closed-angle glaucoma (or acute glaucoma) occurs when a blockage
occurs at the iris-cornea drainage angle. This commonly occurs as a
result of some medication. Common culprits include any medication with
anticholinergic side effects, such as antihistamines (like
diphenhydramine or Benadryl) or tricyclic antidepressants (like
amitryptyline or Elavil). Many anticholinergic medications are
available in over-the-counter remedies, so people concerned about
their glaucoma risk should speak with a pharmacist before using these.

Two other types of glaucoma are congenital (present at birth) and
childhood types. These are, of course, present earlier in life and
probably not as relevant to your father. To read more see

So ultimately, glaucoma could be considered a result of the normal
aging process for some, but for many others it can be a distinct
disease or complication of another disease.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I hope that the information that I?ve presented is what you are
looking for. Should you need further clarification, please let me know
how I can help.


Search terms:

Eye tearing
Optic nerve damage
Optic nerve damage hormone
Glaucoma causes
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