This is the most common type of glaucoma and it affects the elderly and some who are middle-aged. It happens gradually where the eye does not drain fluid as well as it should, resulting in an increase in the eye pressure that may damage the optic nerve. The glaucoma progresses slowly and painlessly, so the patient may not feel any symptoms and slight loss of vision may go unnoticed.
In acute closed-angle glaucoma, the patient can suddenly experience pain and rapid vision loss. Fortunately, the symptoms of pain and discomfort make the patient seek medical help, resulting in prompt treatment, which may prevent further damage from occurring.
In chronic closed-angle glaucoma, symptoms that patients may experience are similar to open-angle glaucoma in that it may progress slowly and painlessly, and patients may not feel any symptoms and slight loss of vision may go unnoticed.
Low or Normal Tension Glaucoma
Even though eye pressure is normal, optic nerve damage still occurs. It might be due to reduced blood supply to the optic nerve.
All three types of glaucoma have the common end point of damage to the optic nerve and visual field loss. Thus, screening for glaucoma is very important especially for patients in the following groups:
- Family history of glaucoma
- History of high eye pressure
- History of injury to the eye
- History of inflammation of the eye
- Older age group
The tests that are performed to screen for glaucoma are:
- Eye pressure checks
- Eye and optic nerve examination
- Visual field studies
- Anatomical studies of the optic nerve compared to normal population (looking at the structure of the optic nerve)