Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated in time. It is characterized by damage to the optic nerve, usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure. There are several types of glaucoma, each with its own characteristics. Regular eye examinations are crucial for early detection of glaucoma. Don't wait – schedule your eye examination today to take control of your eye health.

Here are the different types of glaucoma:

Open-angle glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma, also known as chronic glaucoma, is the most common form of glaucoma. It is characterized by insufficient drainage of intraocular fluid, known as aqueous humour, through a network of canals located at the corner of the eye's anterior chamber. This leads to a progressive increase in intraocular pressure, damaging the optic nerve over time. Open-angle glaucoma can progress slowly and often without obvious symptoms, making it particularly dangerous as it can go undetected until significant damage occurs.

Angle-closure glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma, also known as acute glaucoma, is less common but considered a medical emergency. It occurs when the angle between the iris and cornea closes, blocking the normal flow of intraocular fluid. This leads to a rapid increase in intraocular pressure, causing symptoms such as intense eye pain, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. Angle-closure glaucoma requires immediate intervention to reopen the angle and normalize eye pressure. 

Other types of glaucoma

In addition to open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma, there are other less common types of glaucoma, such as secondary glaucoma, congenital glaucoma and normal-pressure glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma can result from a variety of medical conditions, such as diabetes or ocular inflammation. Congenital glaucoma is present at birth and may be genetic in origin. Normal pressure glaucoma occurs despite apparently normal levels of intraocular pressure, but the optic nerve is still damaged.

Understanding the different types of glaucoma is crucial for early detection and appropriate treatment. It's important to have comprehensive eye examinations with your optometrist regularly. Especially if you have risk factors such as advanced age, a family history of glaucoma, or underlying health problems. If you experience persistent headaches, blurred vision or halos around lights, you must consult an optometrist immediately. Early management of glaucoma can help prevent irreversible vision loss.