There are four main types of glaucoma:
Primary open angle glaucoma, Primary angle closure glaucoma,Secondary glaucoma and Developmental glaucoma.
Primary open angle glaucoma ( POAG)
This is the most common form of glaucoma. It is a chronic (slowly – developing) condition in which the eye pressure rises because the drainage channels themselves are not good enough at the draining fluid out of the eye. This is not because of an obstruction blocking the flow: as the name of this type of glaucoma suggests, the drainage angle remains ‘open’. The eye pressure rises very slowly and there is no pain to warn of a problem, even though the optic nerve is being damaged. When part of the field of vision in one eye is damaged. When part of the field of vision in one eye is damaged, the other eye may ‘fill in’ the gap because the damage may not have occurred in the same part of the field of vision in both eyes. For this reason, much damage will often have been done before the person with glaucoma realizes there is a problem with his/her sight. It is important to diagnose and start treating sight threatening early on, before it has advanced to a stage where there has been an extensive sight loss
Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG)
This sort of glaucoma is less common in western countries and more often found in people of Asian origin. It may be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (slowly developing).
Acute primary angle closure (sometimes called ‘acute glaucoma’) develops when the access of the aqueous humor to the trabecular mesh-work is blocked because the iris has come forward, causing the drainage angle to ‘close’. This means that fluid cannot escape from the eye and the pressure rises. This tends to be very painful because the rise in pressure happens suddenly. Symptoms include seeing halos around light sources, a red eye, cloudy vision and occasionally, sickness. It must be treated straight away and in most cases, the vision recovers completely. However, if treatment is delayed, there is often permanent damage to the nerve has occurred, the term Primary angle closure glaucoma is used. The tendency for this glaucoma to develop depends on the shape of the eye and is more common in ‘long-sighted’ eyes. Sometimes people experience a series of mild attacks of angle closure. These are called sub-acute attacks and often occur in the evening. Vision may Sen misty, with colored rings around with lights and there may be some discomfort and redness in the eye, if you have these symptoms, you should consult your doctor without delay. Chronic angle closure develops slowly, usually without symptoms, although the reason for the rise in eye pressure is similar to acute primary angle closure. When damage to the nerve has occurred, the term chronic primary angle closure glaucoma is used. The treatment is given to reduce the eye pressure to a level at which no further damage to the optic nerve occurs.
This kind of glaucoma can either be open angle or closed angle in nature – in other words, there are various ways in which the eye pressure rises. It has an identifiable cause , being ‘secondary’ to another condition which has caused the glaucoma must also be addressed. The eye may then return to a normal state and not require further treatment, or it may have been damaged so the ongoing glaucoma treatment will be required
This is a rare condition where the eye has failed to form properly. It is present in about 1 in 10,000 babies and may be associated with other developmental abnormalities in the eye. For full details of symptoms and treatments, contact the International Glaucoma Association and ask for our booklet ‘Glaucoma in Babies and Children’.
Posted in: Glaucoma
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