Glaucoma And Your Eyes: Understanding The Four Basic Types

eyelashesIt is vitally important that you have regular eye-checks to ensure that any potential problems are identified as early as possible.

Glaucoma is a condition that can lead to vision loss or even blindness if it is not treated, so the eye specialist you see will carry out a test which measures your eye pressure so that they can quickly identify if there is a potential problem.

There are four basic types of glaucoma and here is a look at the symptoms and what being diagnosed with one these conditions actually means to you.

Glaucoma explained
If you experience damage to the nerve at the back of your eye (which is known as the optic nerve) this is known as glaucoma and can lead to a loss of vision due to the increased pressure with the eye.

Glaucoma occurs if the drainage tubes in your eyes become partially blocked, allowing pressure to build up due to the fluid in your eye not draining properly. When the fluid is unable to drain efficiently, this is referred to as intraocular pressure.

eyelidsThe online contact lens supplier Lenstore will provide you with your regular supply of contact lenses without a prescription, but you should still make sure that your eye health is periodically checked and any signs of glaucoma are investigated as soon as possible.

Chronic open-angle glaucoma
This is the most common type of glaucoma that is diagnosed and is a condition that develops very slowly, meaning that there is gradual loss of sight over a period of time and damage to the optic nerve develops at a relatively slow pace.

It is still not fully understood why the trabecular meshwork becomes blocked, but when it becomes faulty in increases the pressure within your eye, leading to damage of the optic nerve and retina. The effect of this damage leads to permanent patches of vision loss and in severe cases, permanent vision loss.

About 1 in 50 people in the UK who are aged over 40, will suffer from glaucoma and that number rises to 1 in 10 when you reach the age of 75 or older. It is more likely if someone in your family developed glaucoma and your risk is also increased if you have diabetes or are very short-sighted.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma
This is not a very common form of glaucoma and is a condition which develops when there is a sudden increase in the pressure within one eye rather than a gradual build up.

The result is that the eye very quickly becomes red and is often very painful as well, so it is advisable to seek an urgent professional opinion in order to gain an accurate diagnosis.

Woman at the SpaSecondary glaucoma
There are a variety of conditions that can lead to a rise in your eye pressure and one example of how a secondary glaucoma may occur, is if you develop some complications as a result of receiving an injury to your eye.

Congenital glaucoma
As the name would suggest, this is a form of glaucoma that is actually present from birth. It is actually quite rare, with an estimated 1 in 10,000 infants being affected, but if untreated it becomes one of the major causes of childhood blindness.

The most common type of glaucoma by some margin is acute angle-closure, but the advice is the same for anyone with an eye problem.

Have regular check-ups and take action as soon as you think you have any of the recognized symptoms, as early diagnosis is the key to a successful treatment.

Jon Carson researches eye health issues. He is passionate about people understanding eye diseases and how to deal with them, so he often writes for eye health and vision blogs.