Statistics show that over 2.2 million Americans have Glaucoma, but only half of them actually know they have it. This eye disease is often misunderstood, and people do not realize its effects until after their condition has grown worse. Currently Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world and it is mostly caused by fluid pressure damaging the optic nerves inside the eye. Researchers have been trying to develop a cure to prevent its effects, but have not yet found a universal remedy. A paper recently published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology determined that there is new information that may help us determine why glaucoma occurs.
Researchers discovered a new layer in the human cornea that plays a key role in the structure of tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye. The new layer named Dua’s Layer, after Harmider Dua who discovered it, reveals that this is an important contribution to the sieve-like meshwork (trabecular meshwork) in the periphery field of the cornea.
Trabecular meshwork is a wedge-shaped band of tissue that rests along the circumference of the anterior chamber of the eye. It is composed of beams of collagen in the bottom membrane to which trabecular endothelial cells attach. This means that Dua’s Layer is intertwined with the trabecular meshwork and may be the significant reason why the drainage system is disrupted, causing intraocular pressure and Glaucoma.
There may be no symptoms to warn a person with Glaucoma, especially in those with open-angle Glaucoma. Also there usually is no pain experienced after increased eye pressure, but patients who seek treatment early before the condition worsens can protect their eyes against vision loss.
With this research, we hope to one day find the reason why some people experience drainage system malfunctions and increased eye pressure. For now what we suggest is to have your eyes checked at least once a year to test for Glaucoma and eye-related diseases, and maintain healthy vision for life.