Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG)

What is Open Angle Glaucoma?

Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG) is a form of glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is a degenerative ocular disorder that affects the optic nerve by creating irreversible damage leading to a loss of vision. This condition is characterized by progressive increases in intraocular pressure (IOP) as the result of a fluid buildup of aqueous humor within the closed chamber of the eye.

OAG can have no symptoms at first, and individuals may not know they have it until their vision is severely impaired. Left untreated, OAG can lead to a complete loss of vision. Although not uncommon, it must be taken seriously, as timely treatment can help minimize the risk of vision loss.

Risk Factors of Open Angle Glaucoma

Many factors can increase your risk for developing OAG. These include:

  • Increasing age
  • Family history of the disease
  • Being of African descent
  • Having other ocular diseases such as cataracts
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications

Diagnosis and Treatment of Open Angle Glaucoma

If you have any of the risk factors listed above, it is important that you get an eye examination regularly, which will typically include a dilated eye exam. In this test, the doctor will use an ophthalmoscope to look through dilated pupils to examine the optic nerve and other structures of the eye. This is critical in detecting OAG early on so that treatment can be started as soon as possible.

If left untreated, OAG can lead to irreversible vision loss. Treatment for OAG usually involves using medications to reduce eye pressure, such as eye drops or oral medications. Surgery may also be an option. It is important to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent further vision loss.