Glaucoma: Take The Pressure Down

Picture of a cat walking down a cat tower with caption, is your cat slowing down?

What is it?

Glaucoma refers to a buildup of abnormally high pressure inside the eye. It may be helpful to think of the eye as a bucket with a hole in the bottom, a tap running into the top of the bucket, and water draining out of the hole at the same rate. Glaucoma occurs when the hole in the bottom of the bucket gets blocked.

What causes it?

Glaucoma can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary glaucoma is a genetic problem where the fluid drainage system in the eye is poorly formed. Secondary glaucoma occurs when another disease in the eye causes problems with the fluid drainage system, such as uveitis, trauma, tumors, cataracts and lens dislocation.

How is it treated?

Medications are typically prescribed to either slow down the production of fluid in the eye or to speed up the drainage of fluid from the eye. However, these medications are not always successful, and close monitoring is recommended. If the glaucoma is secondary, the underlying problem will also need to be treated.

What if the treatment doesn’t work?

Glaucoma is a painful condition that can lead to blindness. If the eye is painful, blind and the pressure cannot be controlled, it is recommended that a surgical procedure be performed to either remove the eye or reduce the pressure, thereby providing relief from the pain. Please see the ‘Eye Removal Options’ handout.

How can we help?

Our experienced veterinary team can diagnose and manage glaucoma.

Want to know more about our ophthalmology services?

Download a free PDF version of this blog post: Glaucoma Blog PDF

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