How Does Glaucoma Cause Vision Loss?

How Does Glaucoma Cause Vision Loss?

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, and 50% of people who have it don’t even know they do. That’s because it often has few symptoms and these symptoms can appear after it’s too late. So why is this such a stealth disease? There are two main types of Glaucoma: open angle and closed angle. Open angle is the most common and tends to
be less severe. It can develop slowly, over time, and go largely
undetected unless it’s routinely screened for. Closed angle, while less common – can
appear suddenly and be quite painful. Both can eventually can lead to vision loss. – My name’s John Flanagan, I’m a professor at the School of Optometry at the University of California, Berkeley. I’m also dean of the School of Optometry there. And for the last 40 years I’ve spent a lot
of time researching into the problem of glaucoma. So glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease, probably the world’s most common
neurodegenerative disease, but it’s really very specific to
the eye. To understand Glaucoma, it helps to know the
basics of how the eye works. When light reflects an object, it enters your
eye, and its first stop is the cornea. Then it’s on through the pupil and ultimately
the retina where the image is communicated with your brain by way of the optic nerve. It’s then interpreted as what you “see”. And all of this action is aided by the presence
of clear fluids and a complex network of nerves. – If you just think for a moment about
the eye, and we have this layer called the cornea where you would put a contact lens,
for example, that’s clear. And it has to be clear, otherwise light can’t
get in and we can’t see. Therefore it can’t have blood and blood vessels
throughout it feeding that tissue. So the way that the eye feeds that tissue
is by producing this fluid with all the nutrients; the oxygen and different nutrients bathe
the back to help feed it. This all takes place in a network of fibers
that surround the wall of the eye and funnel into the optic nerve. When the fluid at the front of the eye stops
draining efficiently, pressure increases. This can cause problems with blood flow to
the optic nerve, which kills off nerve fibres. – The eye, to stay in the correct shape,
needs fluid to keep it inflated… we need pressure in the eye because
otherwise it would collapse. So it’s always this balance between the pressure
inside the eye and the pressure in our capillaries. And for most of our lives,
that balance is fine. But as we get older, the blood supply may
become obstructed, and the fluid drainage not as efficient. This extra fluid increases the pressure on
your eye, which in turn damages the cells and fibers that make up your optic nerve which
then leads to vision loss. This is glaucoma. – The most prone area, the areas that we expect
damage first are actually fibers that come in from peripheral vision, the damage happens
more with these big fibers as they loop into the top and bottom. So 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock on the optic nerve, they’re the ones that seem to be most prone to this damage in glaucoma and die off first, and give us very specific patterns of loss in the eye. You’d think with drainage problems and eye
pressure, you would feel it, but that’s not always the case. That’s what makes the symptoms of Glaucoma
so difficult to recognize. – If your disease is more advanced, in primary
open angle glaucoma you would just start to notice areas of vision missing. Or you know, you miss that person walking
on the sidewalk or across the street initially. So they can be quite subtle. You really don’t feel pain other than in the
much rarer acute angle glaucoma attacks. And it’s not that you just feel no pain,
your brain is actually overcompensating, adding to the illusion that nothing is wrong. – We often have this idea that if somebody
is going blind or losing vision that they have sort of dark or gray areas in their vision. And it just doesn’t happen like that. Most of the time these sort of diseases, particularly
glaucoma, will slowly affect small areas of vision, and affect them unequally in the two eyes. So your brain is very good at merging what
we receive, the view of the outside world from each eye, and merges them together to
give our percept of the world. Just as an example, if you’re looking at a house, and the house has five windows and two doors, if you have glaucoma, your brain would make
you see that house just as well as anybody else. But two of the windows might be missing. Your brain would fill in the brick work or
the siding and you would just misinterpret the actual scene that you’re looking at. So the brain just has this amazing ability
to help you feel as though nothing’s wrong as you develop these defects. So since there are very few symptoms with Glaucoma, you can’t identify it on your own. And your brain is filling in the gaps. So, how do you know if you have it? Routine screenings and knowing your risk factors,
such as family history and high eye pressure, are a start. And treatment, if caught early, can include
drops, medication, laser and other surgeries. One treatment however, doesn’t appear to
pass the smell test, just yet. – We know that marijuana will actually reduce
the pressure in the eye. The problem is, it’s very quick and very short-lived. So the therapeutic value of marijuana is a
complete failure for glaucoma. You would literally just have to be smoking
continuously to have an effect that might be therapeutic. So that’s a very long-winded way of saying,
don’t bother with marijuana with your glaucoma. But there is some hope on the horizon. Especially when it comes to neurological disorders,
and Glaucoma is in that category. – We’re seeing all sorts of really amazing
discoveries about neurodegenerative disease and glaucoma. that opens up the potential for new therapeutic treatments that will arrest the damage. I think there’s genuine reason for optimism
that we’ll start having some treatments for neurodegenerative disease as a whole. And specifically for glaucoma.

96 thoughts on “How Does Glaucoma Cause Vision Loss?

  • Today's fact: In 2014, a missing woman on a vacation in Iceland was found when it was discovered that she was in the search party looking for herself.

  • Your brain filling in memory gaps in say might memory . Might explain alien abductions. And RP Statistics. Lot girls say don't remember or can Bearly Remember or only the last they saw that night . Or what did while drunk Hormones in in mood . Was so Against their averaged princbles. Their create a different Narrative. With Said of culturel Narrative.
    if Actually LISTEN TO some of Cosby's Accussers Sunny Wellas Sharon Van Ert .their just Assuming they've been RPed . Because they don't remember the night before after their own drinks.
    And more have abducted by then RPed by Bill Cosby. How is 60million less credibile then just 60becuse you just don't wanna Believe this could happen. So just assuming they all most be false.
    No evidence Alien abductions real happen..the making the claims are the evidence

  • Unrelated but somewhat important. 

    Resveratrol-based Nutraceutical Improves Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Improvement in visual function has been reported in AMD patients taking capsules of the oral nutraceutical Longevinex, a supplement consisting of red wine solids (resveratrol) combined with 1,200 IU of vitamin D3, DNA repair nucleotides, and a cholesterol-lowering solubilizing agent, B cyclodextrin.

    This combination has six times greater biological action than resveratrol alone and prevented legal blindness in a patient with a fast progressive form of exudative  macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy — in whom treatment with injected drugs had failed.

    The effect of Longevinex on dark adaptation in 7 patients — or 14 eyes — with atrophic AMD was recently assessed by Stuart Richer, OD, PhD, FAAO, (pictured) director of the Ocular Preventative Medicine Eye Clinic at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois. 

    Retinal Effects of Resveratrol
    Ross A Jarratt, Hannah Bartlett, Frank Eperjesi
    US Ophthalmic Review, 2013;6(2):132–4 DOI:
    Abstract: Resveratrol is a plant polyphenol that has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Age-related macular degeneration is a degenerative condition characterized by elevated levels of oxidation triggered cell damage and a subsequent inflammatory cascade. Resveratrol prevents activation of inflammatory pathways and is also a potent scavenger of reactive oxygen species and free radicals. Experiments using the mouse model have demonstrated that resveratrol reduces angiogenesis. The evidence suggests that resveratrol would be a useful inclusion in ocular nutritional supplements.
    Keywords: Angiogenesis, inflammation, maculopathy, oxidation, resveratrol, retina
    Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
    Received: April 15, 2013 Accepted May 20, 2013

  • Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Jul 15;735:105-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.03.055. Epub 2014 Apr 18.
    Cannabinoid and lipid-mediated vasorelaxation in retinal microvasculature.
    MacIntyre J1, Dong A1, Straiker A2, Zhu J1, Howlett SE1, Bagher A1, Denovan-Wright E1, Yu DY3, Kelly ME4.
    Author information
    The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulation of vasoactivity in the peripheral vasculature; however, little is known about its role in regulation of the CNS microvasculature. This study investigated the pharmacology of cannabinoids and cannabimimetic lipids in the retinal microvasculature, a CNS vascular bed that is autoregulated. Vessel diameter (edge detector) and calcium transients (fura-2) were recorded from segments of retinal microvasculature isolated from adult, male Fischer 344 rats. Results showed that abnormal cannabidiol (Abn-CBD), an agonist at the putative endothelial cannabinoid receptor, CBe, inhibited endothelin 1 (ET-1) induced vasoconstriction in retinal arterioles.

    These actions of Abn-CBD were independent of CB1/CB2 receptors and were not mediated by agonists for GPR55 or affected by nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibition. However, the vasorelaxant effects of Abn-CBD were abolished when the endothelium was removed and were inhibited by the small Ca(2+)-sensitive K channel (SKCa) blocker, apamin. The effects of the endogenous endocannabinoid metabolite, N-arachidonyl glycine (NAGly), a putative agonist for GPR18, were virtually identical to those of Abn-CBD. GPR18 mRNA and protein were present in the retina, and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that GPR18 was localized to the endothelium of retinal vessels. These findings demonstrate that Abn-CBD and NAGly inhibit ET-1 induced vasoconstriction in retinal arterioles by an endothelium-dependent signaling mechanism that involves SKCa channels. The endothelial localization of GPR18 suggests that GPR18 could contribute to cannabinoid and lipid-mediated retinal vasoactivity.
    Cannabinoid; GPR18;

  • Nice Vid. But i hate this kind of talk, when it comes to medicine. Like, yea, we're close. Something new is coming out…. soon. I heart this kind of talk alot of times and in most cases it takes FOREVER before any new treatment comes out of sience, let alone beeing available to the wider public. Large parts of the health distribution system are corrupt and overly bureaucratic. Money often comes before moral and in this case, it's not about some consumerits comfort crap. That's why i find it to be sickening to give people hope, who most likely will never benefit from these new discoveries.

  • Or you could reduce your sugar/carb intake, intermittent fast and block fast to drive your insulin and glucose down and reduce insulin resistance throughout the body.

  • This is why my eye doctor always does a pressure test. My wife works at an eye doctors office so I get seen there every three months. They got mad for years because I’ve had perfect vision, up until the time I took a fall & had an orbital floor blowout. Now I wear glasses to correct double vision. I still have great vision but without glasses I see double, side by side with the right being up & out with a small twist.

  • Thank you Seeker for the highly informative video (as usual). I was affected with juvenile glaucoma at the age of 21. I knew nothing about glaucoma, it's symptoms and potential permanent damage to the vision. I heard a doctor calling glaucoma "the silent thief" as it takes bits of vision without you noticing. What I find particularly frustrating is that, to this day, nobody seems to have a clear idea of what triggers the condition

  • My paternal side of the family has glucoma and chances are it will also affect me😩 but on the other side i know i have a chance so i get it checked every year and plan it to detect it early and treat it so it stabilizes !

  • you said that the mind compensate for absent objects , and merge/reconstruct the picture.
    I have a good friend. I know him since we were kids. he sees things that other people can't see. his mind constantly reconstruct vision sensory. he sees many colours and hues instead of one distinct colour. moreover he can control the colours visual reconstruction evolution.
    does my friend has glaucoma?

  • My mom is about to go completely blind in both eyes from glaucoma as we can not afford medical bills. It's heart breaking how she is losing vision day by day. And I can't do anything as I don't have a few thousand dollars. She is completely blind on one eye. And sees only a little on her right eye.

  • A misleading and dated explanation on what Glaucoma is. And an Optometrist instead of a Medical Doctor (Ophthalmologist) to explain the disease. Truly disappointing and i wonder if all your other videos on diseases had the same loose scientifc criteria.

  • After a very minor bit of research on my part I found that smoking weed every 3 to 4 hours would be the necessary amount to lessen the intraocular pressure (being what causes blindness for people with glaucoma) which if you've ever been a regular weed smoker isn't hard to do at all, although it supposedly only lowers these intraocular pressure levels by 25 to 30 percent. So pick apart whatever you want about it but it's still a hell of a plant.

  • In reference to Cannabis (which would be cool if medical professionals called it by it's proper name instead of it's racist slang name) the "Peak" from Cannabis is the only time it would properly relieve inter- or intra- ocular pressure, and that peak starts a within a few minuets(presuming smoking/vaping, not ingesting) & lasts around 15 minuets, total. Peak from ingestion is way harder to calculate & effects your body differently, so while the peak is much longer, it's not acting on the eyes like smoking/vaping does.
    He's correct that you would have to be smoking/vaping, more or less constantly, for it to meet the criteria for any kind of effective "treatment". It's just very temporary relief.

  • To be honest that guy says its not worth it to smoke marijuana therapeutically every day but how much would it cost to pay the doctor's and staff plus medical treatment by other means? Lol sound to me like being a pothead is cheaper and he should try it might even change his perspective.

  • this doctor does not understand how many people use grass….it's kinda hilarious, but it's also sort of irresponsibly bad advice that he gives…if you smoke all the time, enjoy the high probability that you will not have glaucoma my stoner friends!

  • My girlfriend has glaucoma in her left eye. It left her blind in that eye when she was only 16, she's 27 now. She is my inspiration and I love her so much. She has been so strong about it. I would be devastated. But she deals with it tremendously well. I do everything I can for her and will continue to for the rest of our lives together. ❤😉

  • THC for the win..Havingh suffered for 30 years It works when it is needed and it works INSTANTLY, Unlike the meds I ahae to take for attacks…ALL of my Doctors say "I cant exactly perscribe the medicine you are using but what ever it is, Keep it up". Its good for more than just vision too. Ive broken 16 bones i have screws and bolts in me..Ive broken my back 3 times..I dont even take Advill anymore. Seems like he is just a Doctor that relies on big pharma to pay his bills.

  • I'm suffering from glaucoma myself. The pressure that built up became so intense that the pain in my head was so overwhelming that I threw up twice when I was on the plane. Finally, I underwent for the Laser treatment. Although it works I still do receive the "attacks" occasionally especially in certain lighting conditions like in a movie theatre or when they switched off the cabin lights on the plane.

    So I always have the Isopto-Carpine ("Pilo") drop with me everywhere I go.

  • I'm "lucky" enough to have had both kinds already. Fortunately, they were both caught in time that no damage was done. My vision is bad enough as it is. Also, he does know you can EAT pot, right?

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