The Risks Of Other Conditions Associated With Glaucoma And Treatments

While glaucoma can happen to anyone, certain conditions associated with glaucoma may increase your risk of further development.

Secondary Glaucoma

When glaucoma is the result of other medical conditions or diseases, it’s referred to as secondary glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma can both be types of secondary glaucoma.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of glaucoma. This occurs when diabetes affects the flow of blood to the optic nerve. Typical symptoms of diabetes such as migraines and high blood pressure can contribute to this. Diabetes patients should schedule regular tests for glaucoma, especially those with type 2 diabetes.
Hypothyroidism has been linked to the formation of open-angle diabetes. A study surveyed 6,000 healthy males and 600 males diagnosed with glaucoma. Of the healthy males, 3.97 percent had instances of hypothyroidism, whereas 6.44 percent of the males with glaucoma were diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (Middletown Journal, 2004).
While this is the first study to convincingly demonstrate the link between hyperthyroidism and glaucoma, more research is being conducted to develop a clearer understanding of the connection.
A study conducted by the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland showed that patients with sleep apnea had an increased risk of developing both normal-tension and open-angle glaucoma (U.S. National Institute of Health, 2009).

Other Conditions Associated With Glaucoma

Other conditions frequently associated with the development of glaucoma include:
• Aniridia: a rare hereditary disease in which the iris is abnormal
Irido Corneal Endothelia Syndrome: This syndrome causes cells on the back of the cornea to spread to the drainage angle, sometimes scarring the tissue between the iris and cornea.
Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome: This syndrome includes protein-based substances produced by the lens, iris and other parts of the eye, and it’s the most commonly identifiable condition related to glaucoma.

Minor Types of Glaucoma That May Develop

Pigment dispersion syndrome is a hereditary condition that causes granules of pigment (which make up the color of the iris) to flake off and become mixed with the intraocular fluid. These pigment flakes can block the trabecular meshwork (tissue around the base of the cornea) and build up intraocular pressure (IOP). This results in a rare condition called pigment glaucoma.
Neovascular glaucoma is another rare type of glaucoma and is associated with other disorders that cause abnormal formation of blood vessels on the iris and in the drainage system. Diabetes is most commonly associated with neovascular glaucoma.
New research on glaucoma is always uncovering new associations, as well as new means of preventing and treating glaucoma.