Types and Causes of Glaucoma

Glaucoma eye disease is a disease that is caused by increase of IOP (intraocular pressure) in the eye resulting from malfunction or malformation of the eye drainage structures.  When this kind of disease is left untreated it causes an irreversible damage to the optic nerve and this can lead to a permanent loss of vision. But early treatment and detection can halt or even slow the progression of the disease.

What is the main cause of glaucoma?

The eye normally produces a clear fluid that fills the anterior chambers of the iris and retina.  The fluid filters out through a complex drainage system. The balance between the production and the drainage is what determines the (IOP) eye s intraocular pressure.  The IOP of many individuals falls between 8 – 21; however there are other eyes that can tolerate high pressure than others. That’s why it is normal to find one person having a higher eye pressure than the other. The different types of glaucoma are:

Open angle

This is the common type of glaucoma; it is also called the primary open angel or the chronic open angle.  The anterior parts of the eye may appear normal but the fluids nay accumulate in the chambers causing the IOP to be elevated. If this kind of infection is left untreated it may lead to a permanent damage to the retina and the optic nerve. Normally opticians recommend that you use eye drops in order to lower the pressure. In some serious cases surgery can be performed if the IOP cannot be controlled by medication.

Acute angle closure

10% of the population suffering from glaucoma has this type of infection.  It normally occurs due to the abnormality of the structures in the front of the eye.  In most cases the space between the cornea and iris is more narrow than normal. Thus it leaves a small tunnel for the solution to pass through. When the solution is blocked the IOP level rises causing an angle closure attack. Compared to open angle glaucoma the acute angle glaucoma has symptoms. The most common symptoms are severe eye pains, nausea, red eye, blurred vision and rainbow around lights. Once you have this infection it is an emergency and you should se e an ophthalmologist immediately.   If it is not treated permanent loss of vision will occur in a few days.

Secondary glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs as a result of other eye infections. Diseases such as inflammation, diabetes, trauma and tumor are some of the causes of this type of infection. For this type of infection it is advisable to be treated to avoid more damages in the eye.


This type of glaucoma is normally seen in infants. The best way of this treating this infection is through surgery.

Symptoms of glaucoma

  • Headache
  • Extreme eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Light and glare sensitivity
  • Sudden decrease of vision
  • Tearing
  • Enlargement of the cornea
  • Light sensitivity

Once you have the above symptoms it is important to seek medication.  Prompt medication will heal the infection thus avoiding other complication.

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