Types of glaucoma
There are different types of glaucoma. The following are the most common:
- Open-angle glaucoma: With this type of glaucoma, eye pressure is increased because of the eye’s drainage mechanism becoming clogged due to age. Due to the clogging, the fluids present in the eye are not drained properly. This increases the pressure in the eye, making it more difficult for the eye to receive light.
- Normal-tension glaucoma: With this type of glaucoma, there is decreased blood flow to the optic nerve, which can cause optic nerve damage, as well as reducing peripheral vision. The way ophthalmologists treat this type of glaucoma is by carrying out frequent eye examinations to examine the level of pressure that the optic nerve is under, and the area of decreased vision.
- Congenital glaucoma: This type of glaucoma is inherited. Although rare, congenital glaucoma results from the drainage area of the eye not being fully developed before birth. Since the drainage area is still under development, this increases eye pressure, which over time can affect the health of the optic nerve, and cause loss of vision.
- Secondary open-angle glaucoma: This form of glaucoma can result from an eye injury. The injury exposes the eye to inflammation of the iris, which exposes it to further complications, such as iritis and cataracts. Treatment for this type of glaucoma is mostly done using steroid injections and topical drops.
- Pigmentary glaucoma: This is a secondary type of glaucoma. As the name suggests, this form of glaucoma is linked to pigment granules being separated from the iris (the coloured part of the eye). Once these granules become detached, they block the drainage system of the eye, resulting in increased eye pressure. As the pressure increases, so does the damage to the optic nerve.
- Exfoliative glaucoma: This form of glaucoma has to do with flaky substances from the front surface of the lens building up in the eye. This can result in blockage of the eye’s drainage system and an increase in eye pressure, resulting in optic nerve damage.