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There are several types of glaucoma. The two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. These are marked by an increase of intraocular pressure (IOP), or pressure inside the eye.
Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for at least 90% of all glaucoma cases:
“Open-angle” means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is as wide and open as it should be. Open-angle glaucoma is also called primary or chronic glaucoma. It is the most common type of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans.
Angle-closure glaucoma, a less common form of glaucoma:
It is also called acute glaucoma or narrow-angle glaucoma. Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma is a result of the angle between the iris and cornea closing.
Also called low-tension or normal-pressure glaucoma. In normal-tension glaucoma the optic nerve is damaged even though the eye pressure is not very high. We still don't know why some people’s optic nerves are damaged even though they have almost normal pressure levels.
This type of glaucoma occurs in babies when there is incorrect or incomplete development of the eye's drainage canals during the prenatal period. This is a rare condition that may be inherited. When uncomplicated, microsurgery can often correct the structural defects. Other cases are treated with medication and surgery.
Variants of open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma include:
Last reviewed on September 15, 2015
This article appeared in the May 2010 issue of Gleams.Subscribe