Untreated glaucoma is a serious cause of sight loss. There are multiple forms and they are all essentially caused by damage to the optic nerve due to increased pressure within the eye. A collaboration between scientists in Algeria and Belgium has led to a new “intelligent system” for glaucoma detection that claims to help diagnose the problem 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 (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 within rise, putting damaging pressure on the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is the most typical form but another problem called normal tension glaucoma will be just as debilitating. Closed-angle glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. The most typical form causes no pain, but gradually leads to damage of one’s peripheral vision and ultimately the whole field of vision, causing complete blindness.