Types of Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an optic nerve disease most often caused by elevated intraocular pressures. It is the second leading cause of blindness in America. Often called the "Silent Thief of Sight," glaucoma can damage vision so gradually and painlessly that symptoms go unnoticed until the disease has already reached an advanced stage. When fully developed, glaucoma completely damages the optic nerve. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness. A simple eye exam can often catch glaucoma in its early stages, and prevent blindness before it's too late. If it has been a while since you or your loved one had a routine eye exam, we encourage you to make an appointment with our glaucoma specialist

How Does One Get Glaucoma?

There are many types of glaucoma. Some patients can develop glaucoma during childhood due to genetic conditions leading to malformation of the drainage channels of the eye (trabecular meshwork and Schlemm's canal). Others may develop glaucoma as a result of a trauma to the eye. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to closure of the drainage channels of the eye and cause glaucoma. Most patients, however, develop primary open angle glaucoma which has multifactorial causes, many still unknown.

Types of Glaucoma

There many types of Glaucoma, but the two main categories are open angle glaucoma and closed angle glaucoma. In open angle glaucoma, the drainage pathway of the eye (trabecular meshwork and Schlemm's canal) is open but malfunctioning. In chronic angle closure glaucoma or acute angle closure glaucoma, the drainage pathway of the eye is closed and is therefore not functioning. Most forms of glaucoma do not have noticeable symptoms until the disease has caused permanent damage. Although there isn’t a cure for glaucoma, there are treatments available to help the drainage channels of the eye work better or decrease the amount of fluid produced by the eye to keep the eye pressure low.

Glaucoma Treatment

Treatment of glaucoma may be initiated with drops or with laser. If the patient continues to have progression despite drop regimen and laser, glaucoma surgery may be needed. To discuss whether your glaucoma can be managed with eye drop treatments, or if glaucoma surgery is a more viable method for stopping the progression of the disease, we encourage you to make an appointment with our glaucoma specialist.

Palmer Eye Center is pleased to serve the greater Tallahassee area, and we are an easy commute from the city center as well as the surrounding areas of Monticello, Drifton, Capps, Havana, Quincy, Midway and Woodville, Florida. We invite you to make an appointment with us today, so that we can help you pre-screen for, manage, treat, or discuss surgery options for your glaucoma.