Understanding the Types of Glaucoma

Macro image of man’s blue eyeThe doctors at Broberg Eye Center can diagnose and treat the different types of glaucoma to protect your ocular wellbeing. Dr. Peter Broberg, Dr. Halsey SettleDr. William McGlathery, and Dr. Ximena de Sabra are committed to helping you preserve your vision with excellent patient education, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment for glaucoma. Contact our office today to learn more about the types of glaucoma and schedule a consultation at our Austin, TX practice.

Open-angle Glaucoma

More than 90 percent of glaucoma patients suffer from open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the drains in the eye gradually become clogged, preventing fluid from circulating properly and creating a buildup of pressure. Open-angle glaucoma does not change the natural angle between the cornea and the iris. This condition can develop without any noticeable symptoms, so it’s important to undergo regular eye exams. Patients with open-angle glaucoma may experience subtle symptoms like slightly blurry vision or weakened peripheral vision.

Closed-angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma occurs suddenly. As the proper angle between the iris and the cornea narrows, the drainage channels of the eye quickly close, creating a sharp increase in intraocular pressure. Closed-angle glaucoma has much clearer symptoms than open-angle glaucoma, but it usually requires immediate care to prevent vision loss. Contact one of our ophthalmologists for an emergency appointment if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Eye pain, especially in combination with nausea or vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Light sensitivity, which could result in rings, glare, or halos
  • Red eyes
  • Worsened night vision
  • Tunnel vision

Other Types of Glaucoma

Other types of glaucoma include:

  • Normal tension glaucoma, in which your intraocular pressure is normal, but the optic nerve becomes injured as though the intraocular pressure is too high.
  • Traumatic glaucoma, which results from eye injury.
  • Pigmentary glaucoma is caused by the breakdown of cells in the iris.
  • Secondary glaucoma, in which intraocular pressure rises due to a separate ocular condition such as cataracts.
  • Psuedoexfoliative glaucoma, when tissues from the lens flake off and disrupt intraocular pressure.
  • Pediatric glaucoma, in which a baby’s ocular drains are improperly developed.
  • ICE, or Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome, when corneal tissues separate and increase intraocular pressure.
  • Neovascular glaucoma, a type of open-angle glaucoma in which irregular blood vessels grow as a result of another condition such as uncontrolled diabetes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are many causes of glaucoma and this condition is often difficult to spot in its early stages, so we recommend that all patients, especially those over 50, come in for regular eye exams. During these appointments, our ophthalmologists test for glaucoma using a variety of methods, including visual assessments, tonometry to evaluate intraocular pressure, and corneal thickness measurements. We also perform optical coherence tomography using our advanced Zeiss machine, which allows us to use light waves to create a 3D image of your eye.

If one of our ophthalmologists diagnoses you with glaucoma, he will create a customized treatment plan. This could include medicated eye drops to reduce intraocular pressure or an advanced procedure called a selective laser trabeculoplasty, during which we use precise, powerful bursts of light to open up your drainage canals. Should you require non-laser surgery, our team will refer you to a respected local ocular surgeon.

Protect Your Eyesight

To learn more about the types of glaucoma or schedule an eye exam, contact our office today.  

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