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Description: Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the eye's optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness. This 3D medical animation depicts the anatomy and physiology of the eye and shows how glaucoma can develop. The optic nerve connects the retina to the brain. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy optic nerve is necessary for good vision. In the front of the eye is a space called the anterior chamber. A clear fluid flows continuously in and out of the chamber and nourishes nearby tissues. The fluid leaves the chamber at the open angle where the cornea and iris meet. When the fluid reaches the angle, it flows through a spongy meshwork, like a drain, and leaves the eye. Sometimes, when the fluid reaches the angle, it passes too slowly through the meshwork drain. As the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, open-angle glaucoma--and vision loss--may result.

Last Updated: Aug 16th, 2012