Fluid is constantly being produced inside and draining from within the eyeball. When fluid drainage is blocked, eye pressure increases, resulting in glaucoma.
Glaucoma can be caused by anatomic abnormalities within the eye, infection, inflammatory disorders, trauma, tumors, an abnormal shift in the eye’s lens, and more. Cats with glaucoma generally are in a significant amount of pain. Their eyes may be red, cloudy, weepy, and in severe cases, visibly enlarged.
Glaucoma is an emergency. Cats can lose their vision and possibly even their eyes if they do not receive timely treatment with medications to lower eye pressure. If an underlying cause to the glaucoma can be identified and successfully treated, the glaucoma should resolve as well. When this is not the case, long term medical management for glaucoma becomes necessary. If a cat’s glaucoma cannot be adequately controlled, surgery (oftentimes to remove the affected eye) to keep the cat comfortable may be necessary. When a cat’s glaucoma has a genetic underpinning, it is common for both eyes to eventually be affected.