The 4 types of Glaucoma you need to know about

Although more common in older adults than young people, Glaucoma is a serious condition that could lead to vision impairment.

Dr. Celeste Steenberg is an Ophthalmologist at Busamed Hillcrest Private Hospital. She says while the condition is irreversible, the management of it is possible and based on the type you have and how severe it is.

There are four types of Glaucoma.
Chronic Open Angle glaucoma is caused through a blockage of the drainage channel in the eye. It leaders to a gradual loss of side or peripheral vision. Even though the condition progresses slowly, it is a lifelong impediment, says Dr. Steenberg.

Acute Closed Angle Glaucoma is a sudden and total blockage of the drainage channel. Symptoms associated with this type of Glaucoma include nausea, blurred vision, severe pain and light halos. Dr. Steenberg says acute closed angle glaucoma is a medical emergency and immediate treatment is required to prevent blindness.

Secondary Glaucoma is usually caused by injury, infection, tumours, and inflammation which creates scar tissue in the eye that blocks the drainage channel. As with chronic open angle glaucoma, Dr. Steenberg says the patient will experience the gradual loss of peripheral vision.

The fourth type of Glaucoma is congenital. In other words, a patient is born with the condition. Dr. Steenberg says infants are usually diagnosed through symptoms which include enlarged eyes, cloudy corneas, light sensitivity and tearing. She says treatment usually starts soon after birth in order to prevent blindness.

Even though Glaucoma cannot be reversed, appropriate treatment options are available. Dr. Steenberg says treatment can slow down deterioration but it is important for patients to understand the severity of their condition.

“Eye drops are often prescribed. This treatment reduces fluid produced in the eye or increases fluid drainage from the eye. There is also laser therapy or surgery which can reduce scar tissue or aid fluid drainage.”

Dr. Steenberg adds that there are tablets which can decrease eye pressure. She says the most important thing for patients is to follow treatment plans and attend regular follow-up appointments to track progression of the condition.