What are the different types of glaucoma?
Open-angle glaucoma is most closely associated with heredity. It is also considered the most common type of glaucoma in the United States and occurs when the drainage system of the eye does not allow fluid to escape fast enough to off set the production of new fluid in the eye. This allows pressure to increase in the eye, resulting in gradual damage to the optic nerve. Because the increase of pressure is so subtle, symptoms of open-angle glaucoma can often go unnoticed for years, giving this glaucoma the distinction of the ‘silent-thief’ of sight. The only known symptom of open-angle glaucoma is the slow and subtle disappearance of peripheral vision.
Closed-angle glaucoma is the most serious form of glaucoma. It occurs when the eye is unable to drain fluid due to a complete blockage allowing eye pressure to increase. While some do not experience any symptoms and have normal vision, others with closed-angle glaucoma experience more noticeable symptoms which include sudden blurred or loss of vision, headaches and eye pain, glare and halos, red eyes, nausea and vomiting. Should you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention to avoid permanent damage to your optic nerve.
This type of glaucoma is considered somewhat rare. Congenital glaucoma is typically diagnosed at birth and up to 3 years of age, and usually does require surgery.
The most common symptoms of congenital glaucoma are enlargement of the eye, cloudy cornea and persistent tearing.