Primary Eye Care Associates

What Are the Different Types of Glaucoma?

By Dr. Steven Chander on April 20, 2019

An illustration of the inside of an eye labeled with the word “pressure”Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that can lead to multiple vision problems, including blurred vision, blind spots, or even blindness.

Treating the different types of glaucoma as early as possible is one of the best ways to protect vision and prevent irreversible damage. At Primary Eye Care Associates, Dr. Steven Chander offers comprehensive treatment for different types of glaucoma. If you live in the Chicago, IL area and would like more information about glaucoma treatment, please schedule a consultation at our practice.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition often linked to a buildup of pressure within the eye, which generally stems from a problem with the circulation of aqueous humor, a fluid that moves between the lens and cornea of the eye.

When glaucoma is present, the aqueous humor typically doesn't move freely in and out of the eye as it should, causing the fluid to stay within the eye, leading to pressure buildup. As pressure builds, it can damage the optic nerve within the eye.

There are different types of glaucoma, all of which can lead to problems with vision and, in some cases, vision loss if left untreated. Let's take a look at some of the different types of glaucoma that are treated at Dr. Chander's Chicago practice.

Open-angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma, also called wide-angle glaucoma, is one of the most common types of glaucoma. Open-angle refers to the angle where the cornea and iris meet. This angle is wide and open in a healthy eye.

With open-angle glaucoma, the drainage structure within the eye, called the trabecular meshwork, does not drain aqueous humor sufficiently. As a result, fluid gradually builds up within the eye, leading to damage of the optic nerve.

Open-angle glaucoma is most common in older adults and may not present any symptoms or significant vision problems until the condition has reached an advanced stage. Because glaucoma symptoms can go unnoticed for years, routine exams can catch this condition early.

Dr. Chander offers comprehensive vision and glaucoma testing to help diagnose and treat open-angle glaucoma in its earliest stages.

Angle-closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma, also called narrow-angle glaucoma or acute or chronic angle-closure glaucoma, is less common than open-angle glaucoma.

With angle-closure glaucoma, fluid fails to drain properly as a result of the narrowing of the space between the iris and cornea. As this space narrows, drainage structures of the eye become blocked, allowing pressure to build.

Angle-closure glaucoma can develop quickly, typically causing a sudden buildup of pressure. Because the onset of angle-closure glaucoma is sudden, it can lead to rapid damage of the optic nerve. This type of glaucoma can also be painful and often requires immediate medical attention.

Chicago-area patients who experience a sudden onset of eye pain, nausea, blurred vision, or halos around lights should seek medical attention as these are all signs of angle-closure glaucoma.

Normal-tension Glaucoma

Normal-tension glaucoma, also called low-tension or normal-pressure glaucoma, is characterized by normal, near-normal, or low pressure within in the eye.

Despite low or normal pressure within the eye, normal-tension glaucoma can still lead to optic nerve damage.

Normal-tension glaucoma is unusual in that pressure within the eye may be normal or very low. Accordingly, the cause of normal-tension glaucoma remains a bit of a medical mystery.

Congenital Glaucoma

Another type of glaucoma is called congenital glaucoma. Congenital glaucoma occurs in babies and young children.

Congenital glaucoma is rare and generally presents when the drainage canals within the eyes don't fully develop or improperly develop in the womb. As a result, fluid does not drain from the eyes, causing pressure buildup and optic nerve damage.

Learn More about Your Treatment Options

If you have glaucoma, or suspect you may have glaucoma, treatment can help slow the progression of the condition and protect vision. To learn more about your treatment options, please call (773) 735-6090 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chander.

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