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Understanding the Two Types of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes fluid to build up in your eye. It increases pressure in your eye, which can damage your eye’s optic nerve.

The two main types of glaucoma are open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma. Each one has different warning signs, but they can both result in blindness if left untreated.

Use this blog post, offered by our team at Benjamin Optical, as a guide to understanding the two types of glaucoma and how they’re treated.

Open-angle glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type. It accounts for 90% of all glaucoma cases in the United States. 

Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the drainage canals in your eyes slowly clog. This causes fluid to build up in your eye, increasing pressure on your optic nerve and eventually leading to vision loss.

There are no early warning signs of open-angle glaucoma since it develops slowly. It doesn’t cause immediate symptoms, and many of them aren’t noticed until you start to lose your vision.

With open-angle glaucoma, vision loss starts around the outer edges of your field of view. Over time, it can lead to tunnel vision and even blindness.

Thankfully, you can catch open-angle glaucoma early with an annual eye exam and prevent any vision loss.

Narrow-angle glaucoma

Narrow-angle glaucoma isn’t as common as the open-angle type. Unlike its counterpart, narrow-angle glaucoma comes on suddenly, making it an acute condition. It normally occurs when a blockage develops in your eye’s drainage canals.

The main symptoms of narrow-angle glaucoma include:

With narrow-angle glaucoma, fluid builds up much faster, which leads to a sharp increase in pressure on your optic nerve. It can cause blindness in only a few days.

Glaucoma treatment

There are a variety of options available for treating glaucoma. The primary goal is to lower the pressure in your eye and prevent vision loss. Our team at Benjamin Optical uses medications, laser treatment, and surgery to slow the progression of glaucoma.

Medicated eye drops usually do the job. Your Benjamin Optical optometrist may also recommend a combination of drops and laser treatments for the best results. If the eye drops and laser treatments aren’t helping, surgery may be the best option.

Am I at risk for glaucoma?

Most glaucoma cases affect adults over age 40. However, you can have glaucoma at any age. Other glaucoma risk factors include:

Glaucoma is a lifelong condition, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your vision. Getting an annual eye exam at Benjamin Optical can slow the progression of glaucoma before it causes permanent damage.

To learn more about the types of glaucoma and treatment options, call Benjamin Optical today or schedule your appointment online.

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