Types of Glaucoma

By Walter Choate on April 30, 2019

Cross-section image of eye shows arrows pointing outward from middle of eyeThe group of eye conditions categorized as glaucoma cause damage to the optic nerve. Most forms of glaucoma occur in individuals over 60, but the condition can arise at any age. The damage is most often caused by abnormally high pressure within the eye.

There are different types of glaucoma. While undergoing treatment at our Nashville, TN office, Dr. Choate will determine which type you have. Based on that diagnosis, we can develop a personalized treatment plan.

An estimated 3 million Americans have glaucoma, and only half of those individuals are aware that they have the eye condition, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

These are some of the more common forms of glaucoma:

Chronic (Open Angle) Glaucoma

Chronic glaucoma is the most common form of this eye condition. Patients who suffer from open angle glaucoma experience a buildup of aqueous fluid inside the eye. This pressure often results from the eye’s inability to properly drain, often because it becomes clogged. Symptoms of open angle glaucoma include a loss of peripheral vision.

Normal Tension Glaucoma

This form of glaucoma does not involve eye pressure within the eye. Damage to the optic nerve may result from a lack of blood supply.

Acute (Angle Closure) Glaucoma

Individuals of Asian or Native American descent are at a higher risk for developing this condition than other populations. Acute glaucoma is characterized by the rapid onset of pressure, which often requires immediate medical attention. This results from a sudden closure of the drainage canals.

Symptoms may include headaches, eye pain, vomiting, and blurred vision, severe eye pain, nausea, visual disturbances, halos, and reddening of the eye.

Secondary Glaucoma

When potential damage to the optic nerve results from another eye condition (trauma, tumor, inflammation, infection), the condition is called secondary glaucoma.

Congenital Glaucoma

For certain newborns, congenital glaucoma results from the incomplete development of the eye’s drainage canals during pregnancy.

Pigmentary Glaucoma

This eye condition can occur at a younger age than chronic glaucoma. The disorder results from pigment granules that flake off the iris and adhere to the eyes’ drainage canals, resulting in raising eye pressure.

Glaucoma Treatments

Treatment innovations have lowered the incidents of glaucoma-related blindness by half since 1980, according to the American Academy of Opthalmology. Choate Eye Associates’ Nashville office offers three levels of treatment.

For milder symptoms, we offer eye drops and oral medications. These treatments are often used during the early stages of glaucoma to improve the flow of fluid out of the eyes.

For cases that require immediate attention, a laser can be used to treat the drainage route or create a new one.

While an option of last resort, our clinic offers surgical procedures to alleviate severe drainage issues by surgically creating a drainage path or placing an implant.

Contact Our Office Today

Our Nashville office is equipped to provide complete diagnosis and care for all eye conditions. With conditions like glaucoma, early detection and treatment is key to preventing vision loss. Our doctor and staff have extensive experience in successfully treating glaucoma. To schedule your appointment at our office, contact us online or call (615) 851-7575.

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