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Understanding the Different Types of Glaucoma

Posted on September 21, 2021 by - Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition in which increasing pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which carries messages to the brain. There are several different types of glaucoma, and all of them can cause blindness. Read on as the team at the Schwartz Laser Eye Center discuss the different types of glaucoma.

Open Angle Glaucoma

The most common form of glaucoma is open angle glaucoma. Open angle glaucoma occurs over time. It results from the eye drainage canals slowly becoming clogged. This clogging increases eye pressure. Over time, the increased pressure causes damage to the optic nerve which can lead to vision loss. It is important to schedule regular eye exams because open angle glaucoma can go unnoticed with relatively few symptoms.

Angle Closure Glaucoma

Angle closure glaucoma is also called acute glaucoma or narrow angle glaucoma. Angle closure glaucoma is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment to avoid permanent vision loss. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience sudden and intense pain in your eyes combined with headache, nausea, red eyes, halos around lights, blurred vision and/or a sudden loss of sight.

With angle closure glaucoma, the outer edge of your iris prevents fluid from draining out of your eye. This clogging causes a rapid increase in eye pressure. Angle closure glaucoma is very noticeable and can cause vision loss if not treated immediately.

Normal Tension Glaucoma

The cause of normal tension glaucoma is unknown. In normal tension glaucoma, eye pressure remains normal, but the optic nerve is still damaged. Normal tension glaucoma is diagnosed by damage to the optic nerve. Regular eye exams can help to diagnose optic nerve damage early on.

If you miss your regular eye exams, and your normal tension glaucoma goes untreated, you may begin to experience symptoms. Symptoms of normal tension glaucoma include a loss of your peripheral vision. Over time your vision will narrow, eventually leading to complete vision loss.

Congenital Glaucoma

Congenital glaucoma is a rare disease that affects children and babies. Congenital glaucoma results from a birth defect impacting the development of the eye. Early treatment and diagnosis are essential to mitigating vision loss.

Secondary Glaucoma

Secondary glaucoma is glaucoma caused by an acquired condition. Secondary glaucoma can be caused by diabetes, eye trauma, inflammation, and steroids.

The iStent inject® W Procedure

The best way to protect your vision is to schedule regular eye exams with an experienced ophthalmologist. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will discuss your treatment options with you. If you are diagnosed with mild to moderate open angle glaucoma, your ophthalmologist may recommend iStent inject® W for the treatment and control of your eye pressure.

Dr. Orry Birdsong is a board-certified ophthalmologist and a trusted physician at the Schwartz Laser Eye Center. He provides comprehensive eye care for his patients and can perform the iStent inject® W procedure. To schedule an eye exam with Dr. Birdsong, contact the Schwartz Laser Eye Center today.

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