Untreated glaucoma is a serious cause of sight loss. There are several types and they are all basically triggered by damage to the optic nerve due to increasing pressure level within the eye. A collaboration between scientists in Algeria and Belgium has led to a new “intelligent system” for glaucoma discovery that promises to help diagnose the condition sooner rather than later and allow patients to be treated in a timely manner and their sight saved.
Mohammed El Amine Lazouni and Amel Feroui of the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, at Abou Bekr Belkaid Tlemcen University in Tlemcen, Algeria and Saïd Mahmoudi of the Computer Science Department at the University of Mons, in Belgium discuss their approach in detail in the International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology.
Technically, glaucoma originates from an increase in the intraocular pressure level (IOP). In the healthy eye, the aqueous humour behind the cornea is maintained in equilibrium with and equal quantity of liquid being discharged by the eye and this region refilled with fluid continuously. However, in glaucoma the rate of flow of liquid out of this cavity is slower than the flow into the space and the pressure level within rise, putting damaging pressure level on the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form but another condition called normal tension glaucoma will be just as debilitating. Closed-angle glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. The most common form causes no pain, but gradually leads to damage of one’s peripheral vision and ultimately the whole field of vision, causing complete blindness.