What are the Types of Glaucoma?

The Glaucoma Research Foundation tells us that more than three million Americans have glaucoma, but only half are aware they have it. Of the people who have glaucoma, at least 90% have open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma. However, there are other forms of the disease.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

When you have open-angle glaucoma, the angle where your cornea meets your iris is wide and open. However, you experience elevated intraocular pressure, or IOP, which damages the optic nerve over time. It’s typically a lifelong condition and progresses slowly. Because you may not notice any symptoms until you have considerable vision loss, this form of glaucoma is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight”.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This is a less common type of glaucoma whereby blocked fluid drainage canals result in a rapid rise in eye pressure. With this form, your angle between your cornea and iris is narrow or closed. Angle-closure glaucoma also referred to as narrow-angle glaucoma, requires immediate medical care in order to prevent vision loss.

Normal-Tension Glaucoma (NTG)

In normal-tension glaucoma, your optic nerve is damaged despite not having very high intraocular eye pressure. Researchers and medical experts still are not certain as to why an individual’s optic nerve becomes damaged even if they have eye pressure levels that are normal or very near normal.

Congenital Glaucoma

This glaucoma form occurs in babies when the development of their eye’s drainage canals during their prenatal years is either incomplete or incorrect. Congenital glaucoma is rare and can be inherited. This form is treated with medications, microsurgery or other surgical procedures.

There are other less common forms of glaucoma, which are variations of open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.

Get Screened for Glaucoma

Although glaucoma cannot be cured as of today, the good news is that with proper use of medication (usually in the form of eye drops) and/or surgery, many individuals can halt or slow down their vision loss. That’s why it’s important to see your eye care professional for a glaucoma screening to catch and control glaucoma. Remember, if you have glaucoma in its earliest stage, you might not have any symptoms, so contact us here at Powers Eye Center today for a glaucoma screening. Call 719-598-5068 to schedule an appointment or complete our online form.