Glaucoma is an eye disease that generally occurs when your intraocular pressure (IOP) levels rise and damage your optic nerve. However, some forms of glaucoma can develop without raising your IOP levels.
Glaucoma initially damages your peripheral vision, but it can also damage your central vision and even cause blindness over time. Although there are several types of glaucoma, 3 of the most common are:
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of this disease. It occurs when your IOP levels rise over time even though the drainage angle between your cornea and iris remains open. IOP levels can increase if your eyes produce too much fluid (aqueous humour) or if the fluid doesn’t drain fast enough to maintain stable pressure.
Our team can detect open-angle glaucoma during a comprehensive eye exam by measuring your IOP levels or checking your optic nerve for damage.
Closed-angle, or angle-closure, glaucoma is less common than open-angle glaucoma but can be much more severe. This disease occurs when the drainage angle between your iris and cornea closes, rapidly elevating your IOP levels. Along with sudden vision loss, you may also experience eye pain, headaches, or nausea.
Closed-angle glaucoma is considered to be a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
Normal-tension glaucoma can develop without elevated IOP levels. However, our team can diagnose this disease by checking your optic nerve for damage.