Types of Glaucoma
There are two main types of glaucoma: open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma.
The most common type of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, accounts for approximately 70% to 90% of all cases. The disease is progressive and has no detectable early signs. Elevated IOP is the most significant risk factor for the development and progression of open-angle glaucoma.
As eye pressure builds, it gradually can lead to:
- Damage of the optic nerve
- Loss of peripheral vision
- Blindness, if left untreated
Figure A: Open-Angle Glaucoma
The second most common type of glaucoma — angle-closure glaucoma — occurs when the drainage pathways in the eye become blocked by the iris. As a result, fluid cannot circulate through the eye and pressure increases. The condition can occur suddenly (acute angle-closure glaucoma) or gradually (chronic angle-closure glaucoma).
Your eye care professional can perform a simple eye test to determine if the angle in your eye is normal and wide or abnormal and narrow.
Figure B: Angle-Closure Glaucoma