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Types of Glaucoma

There are two Basic Types of Glaucoma

  • Open-angle glaucoma

  • Closed-angle glaucoma

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common type of glaucoma which occurs in approximately 90% of those with the disease. It is a chronic condition, meaning that it develops slowly over time. In POAG, intraocular pressure increases because of improper drainage of aqueous humor from the eye. No symptoms or pain are typically noted in early stages, which is a reason why it is known as the “silent thief of sight.” Therefore, early detection through our extensive examinations are important.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Gradual loss of peripheral vision, typically noted in both eyes
  • Tunnel vision (noted in advanced stages)

Angle-closure glaucoma (also known as closed-angle glaucoma) is much rarer, occurring in less than 10% of those with the disease. Unlike POAG, in those who have angle-closure glaucoma, the eye pressure rises very quickly. This can occur due to drainage canals being blocked by the iris (similar to something covering the sink drain).

Due to this sudden rise, symptoms may include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea (accompanying eye pain)
  • Haloes/rainbows around lights
  • Extremely blurred vision
  • Reddening of eye

Who is at risk for glaucoma?

  • People over age 40
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African ancestry, Asian or Japanese heritage
  • Elevated eye pressure
  • Thin cornea
  • Near sightedness
  • Past injuries to the eyes
  • Steroid use
  • Have diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation or other health problems affecting the whole body