Dr. Matthew Nutaitis of MUSC's Storm Eye Institute discusses the causes of glaucoma.
Read the full transcript »
Host: What causes Glaucoma? The pressure apart, if you have -- somebody who has a pressure that's out of the normal range, which is somewhere normally start to be 10 to twenty-one-and-a-half millimeters of mercury. So if you have, somebody has a pressure than that, then there is really two systems going on with the eye, there is an organ inside that's producing the fluid, that's thought to be rather steady state function that you are surely producing a certain amount of aqueous inside the eye to pressurize the eye, and then there is a drain within the trabecular meshwork where 90% of the fluid lose the eye, the other 10% lose from a rather more diffused process called uveoscleral outflow, but 90% goes up to trabecular meshwork and you get a mismatch of how much fluid had been produced and how much can exit the eye. And it tends to happen in glaucoma patients because again primary open angle glaucoma is the most common one and that's sort of the high pressure that we are talking about. But not everybody gets it. So clearly some people can go through life and have nice equal pressures and stay with the normal range and never get glaucoma, but yet there is this group that have trouble with it. So you have to sort of put the balance of inflow and outflow, in as the cause of at least the high pressure part. The low pressure one would cause if somebody's optic nerve be more susceptible to damage and having a die-off earlier, I think it's pretty much unknown.