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12-01-2008, 02:40 PM
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma

This is the most common form of glaucoma, affecting about three million Americans. It happens when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time. The inner eye pressure (also called intraocular pressure or IOP) rises because the correct amount of fluid can’t drain out of the eye. With open angle glaucoma, the entrances to the drainage canals are clear and should be working correctly. The clogging problem occurs further inside the drainage canals, similar to a clogged pipe below the drain in a sink.
Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs. If open angle glaucoma is not diagnosed and treated, it can cause a gradual loss of vision. This type of glaucoma develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable sight loss for many years. It usually responds well to medication, especially if caught early and treated.

Secondary Glaucoma

Glaucoma can occur as the result of an eye injury, inflammation, tumor or in advanced cases of cataract or diabetes. It can also be caused by certain drugs such as steroids. This form of glaucoma may be mild or severe. The type of treatment will depend on whether it is open angle or angle closure glaucoma.
Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma

This form of secondary open angle glaucoma occurs when a flaky, dandruff-like material peels off the outer layer of the lens within the eye. The material collects in the angle between the cornea and iris and can clog the drainage system of the eye, causing eye pressure to rise.
Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma is common in those of Scandinavian descent. Treatment usually includes medications or surgery.
Pigmentary Glaucoma

A form of secondary open angle glaucoma, this occurs when the pigment granules in the back of the iris (the colored part of the eye) break into the clear fluid produced inside the eye. These tiny pigment granules flow toward the drainage canals in the eye and slowly clog them, causing eye pressure to rise. Treatment usually includes medications or surgery.
Read more about pigmentary glaucoma. (http://www.glaucoma.org/learn/pigment_dispers.html)
Traumatic Glaucoma

Injury to the eye may cause secondary open angle glaucoma. This type of glaucoma can occur immediately after the injury or years later.
It can be caused by blunt injuries that “bruise” the eye (called blunt trauma) or by injuries that penetrate the eye.
In addition, conditions such as severe nearsightedness, previous injury, infection, or prior surgery may make the eye more vulnerable to a serious eye injury.
Read more about traumatic glaucoma. (http://www.glaucoma.org/learn/traumatic_glauc.html)
Neovascular Glaucoma

The abnormal formation of new blood vessels on the iris and over the eye’s drainage channels can cause a form of secondary open angle glaucoma.
Neovascular glaucoma is always associated with other abnormalities, most often diabetes. It never occurs on its own. The new blood vessels block the eye’s fluid from exiting through the trabecular meshwork (the eye’s drainage canals), causing an increase in eye pressure. This type of glaucoma is very difficult to treat.
Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)

This rare form of glaucoma usually appears in only one eye, rather than both. Cells on the back surface of the cornea spread over the eye’s drainage tissue and across the surface of the iris, increasing eye pressure and damaging the optic nerve. These corneal cells also form adhesions that bind the iris to the cornea, further blocking the drainage channels.
Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome occurs more frequently in light-skinned females. Symptoms can include hazy vision upon awakening and the appearance of halos around lights. Treatment can include medications and filtering surgery. Laser therapy is not effective in these cases.