Glaucoma 101: What Are The Different Types of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of permanent blindness in the world today. Glaucoma is not understood by many people, and many do not know that there are actually several types of glaucoma. At Arizona Eye, we believe that knowledge is power. Learning as much as you can about a disease helps you prevent it and spread awareness.

So, let’s take a minute to discuss the two main types of glaucoma and how to catch them before they do any damage.

Types of Glaucoma

 

  • Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma

Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma, representing about 90% of all glaucoma cases. This type of glaucoma is caused by the slow clogging of the drainage canals inside of the eye. These drainage canals are responsible for moving fluid in and out of the eye. When these drainage canals become unable to move fluid in and out of the eye fast enough, fluid begins to build up inside of the eye. This causes a spike in intraocular pressure.

Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma occurs slowly, and does not have symptoms. As intraocular pressure rises, the eye begins to compress the optic nerve, causing irreversible vision loss. Usually, people do not experience any symptoms until vision loss has already occurred.

  • Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This rare form of glaucoma is caused by the sudden, complete blockage of the eye’s drainage canals. This form of glaucoma is considered a medical emergency. Unlike Open-Angle glaucoma, Angle-Closure glaucoma does present some symptoms.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive tearing

Angle-Closure glaucoma causes a sudden spike in intraocular pressure, causing rapid vision loss if not treated immediately.

Diagnosis

Open-Angle glaucoma is diagnosed through eye examinations. Since there are no obvious symptoms, patients generally don’t know that they have glaucoma until they attend their comprehensive eye exams, or until they’ve already experienced vision loss. This is why eye examinations are extremely important to your eye health and vision. When caught early, out doctors are able to save you from the vision loss caused by glaucoma.

Treatment

Our glaucoma experts at Arizona Eye are highly trained and skilled in the correction of glaucoma. Treatments are focused on lowering intraocular pressure to reduce or eliminate further vision loss. It is important to remember that any vision lost before treatment is irreparable, which is why early detection is so important.

  • Aqueous  Shunt Surgery

There are patients with glaucoma who experienced failure from their previous glaucoma surgery, and this surgery is best recommended for these patients.

  • Canaloplasty

Canaloplasty is non-penetrating and focuses mostly on restoring the usual outflow rather than creating a new one.

  • Express-device Assisted Trabeculectomy

This surgery has a small steel device that gives a standardized opening and minimizes inflammation of the eye.

  • Trabeculectomy

This is the most commonly performed glaucoma treatment procedure. The procedure allows fluid to drain from the eye to decrease intraocular pressure.

  • Titanium-Sapphire Laser Trabeculoplasty

This procedure targets the trabecular meshwork by altering it without any scarring or damage to the tissue.

  • Diode Laser

With Diode laser surgery, intraocular eye pressure is decreased by shrinking the glands of the eye that produce fluid.

At Arizona Eye, our doctors will be able to determine which course of treatment is best for you. If you are due for an eye examination, call Arizona Eye today for your appointment! If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma and are looking for the perfect place for treatment, look no further than Arizona Eye!

More Blogs