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Understanding the Different Types of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that causes an increase in pressure inside the eye, leading to damage and lost eyesight. Treatment for glaucoma depends upon the type of glaucoma affecting your vision. There are many types of glaucoma, although the majority of cases fall into one of two categories and are caused by aging of the eye.

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Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is by far the most common form of glaucoma. It may also be called primary or chronic glaucoma, and is responsible for approximately 90% of glaucoma cases. The name open-angle glaucoma indicates that the angle between the iris and cornea is normal. Increased pressure inside the eye is due to buildup inside the fluid drainage canals. This buildup occurs slowly, and there are often no symptoms associated with open-angle glaucoma as the condition progresses gradually.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Although less common, angle-closure glaucoma accounts for approximately 10% of cases. Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the drainage canals are blocked suddenly, and is characterized by an abnormally narrow angle between the cornea and iris. This type of glaucoma occurs quickly and should be considered an emergency. Prompt treatment is necessary to relieve the rapid increase in intraocular pressure and prevent serious damage to your vision. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include eye pain, headaches, nausea, and blurred vision.

Other Types of Glaucoma

There are many other forms of glaucoma, although the majority of these are variations of either open-angle or angle-closure glaucoma. These include secondary glaucoma caused by another disease or condition, trauma-induced glaucoma, and congenital or childhood glaucoma. Additionally, some people experience damage to the optic nerve even without increased pressure inside the eye. This condition is called normal-tension glaucoma, and its causes remain unknown.

Glaucoma can be treated to preserve or improve your vision. Contact Dr. Mark Hornfeld of NYC by calling (646) 502-4142 to learn more about your eyesight today. Check out our website for more information about treatments including laser vision correction, cataract surgery, and eye exams.