Glaucoma is known as progressive neurodegenerative disease with irreversible loss of vision. Next to perimetric visual field defects, morphological alterations of the optic nerve and an increased intraocular pressure (IOP) occur. IOP is a fine regulated, complex homeostasis of production of aqueous humor (AH) in the non‐pigmented ciliary body and its outflow. About 80% of AH is drained throughout the trabecular meshwork (TM). Any outflow resistance, with consecutive increase in IOP, can be generated by a decreased pore size or any other alterations of TM, making it more rigid. Oxidative stress, a disbalance of oxidants and antioxidants, is one mechanism, causing an altered extracellular matrix (ECM), and seems to play a key role in the pathogenesis of glaucomatous nerve atrophy. Damage of DNA, caused by oxidative stress, was shown in TM cells of glaucoma patients. This chapter gives a review about oxidative stress and its pathological alterations in the main outflow pathway—the trabecular meshwork—in glaucoma patients.
Part of the book: Glaucoma