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Types Of Glaucoma That Can Be Detected During Glaucoma Screening

Types Of Glaucoma That Can Be Detected During Glaucoma Screening

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve in the back of the eye and can cause permanent vision impairment or blindness if not detected early during a glaucoma screening. Although many people tend to think of open-angle glaucoma when they hear of this condition, there are actually many different types of glaucoma. They are classified by the age of onset, how the optic nerve is damaged, and how drainage in the eye affects eye pressure. Here are some of the different types of glaucoma a person can have.

What Might Be Discovered During Glaucoma Screening

Open-Angle Glaucoma
This is the most common form of glaucoma. When a person has open-angle glaucoma, the inside of the drainage canals within their eye do not properly drain. This causes an increase of fluid in the eye, which leads to subsequent high intraocular eye pressure. This type of glaucoma develops slowly over time and doesn’t present symptoms until it begins to permanently impact your vision. The only way to detect open-angle glaucoma early and prevent these symptoms from developing is through regular glaucoma screenings.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Also referred to as acute or narrow-angle glaucoma, this is the second most common form of glaucoma, although it is still fairly rare in comparison to open-angle glaucoma. This condition occurs when the iris is not as open as it should which blocks drainage in the eye. This type of glaucoma causes eye pressure to rise very suddenly compared to open-angle glaucoma and can cause symptoms such as intermittent headaches, eye pain, and halos around lights. In some severe cases, an angle-closure glaucoma attack can cause severe eye pain, headaches, blurry vision, and nausea.

Normal-Tension Glaucoma
This type of glaucoma, also called low-tension glaucoma, occurs even when the pressure within the eye is not higher than average. Although the cause of optic nerve damage is not quite known, it is suspected that this form of glaucoma is caused by abnormalities in blood flow or a weak optic nerve structure.

Secondary Glaucoma
This is one of the few forms of glaucoma that has an identifiable cause. Sometimes eye injuries, certain medications, or inflammation can cause glaucoma to develop, which is why this condition is referred to as secondary; there is an inciting incident that causes glaucoma to develop.

Congenital Glaucoma
This form of glaucoma occurs in babies whose eyes have not finished developing or that have developed incorrectly and optic nerve damage occurs as a result. Typically, glaucoma is considered an eye condition that affects people over 50, but glaucoma can impact people of all ages, making glaucoma screening an important part of any eye exam.

Exfoliative Glaucoma
This form of glaucoma is also considered a form of open-angle glaucoma. Exfoliative glaucoma
occurs when a blockage forms from flaking sections of the lens. These flakes clog the eye drainage systems and lead to increased eye pressure.

Neovascular Glaucoma
When abnormal blood vessels form and block eye drainage, it results in neovascular glaucoma. This condition is often linked to diabetes and other conditions that can cause retinopathy, which tends to cause abnormal blood vessels to develop in the eye.

To learn more about this eye condition, read Are You At Risk For Glaucoma?

Glaucoma Screening Prevents Worsening Symptoms

If you have any form of glaucoma, an eye exam complete with glaucoma screening can detect it and your optometrist can develop a personalized glaucoma management plan. During a glaucoma screening, your optometrist will administer several types of glaucoma screening tests to check for the various forms of glaucoma and if you do have any type of this condition, they will advise you of your next steps. For glaucoma screening to maintain your vision and eye health, contact Market Mall Optometry at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: Is there a cure for glaucoma?
A: No, there is not. While glaucoma can be treated and its progress slowed if it is caught early, there is no known way to restore vision or repair the optic nerve once it has been damaged. This early detection and treatment are why glaucoma screenings are so important.

Q: What are the treatment options for glaucoma?
A: While there is no known cure for glaucoma, there are treatments that can manage it. Eye drops and oral medications can be used to decrease the amount of fluid your eyes produce which will decrease pressure. There are also surgeries available that can help reduce ocular pressure.

Q: Will I go blind from glaucoma?
A: Although glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in Canada, complete loss of vision is uncommon with proper treatment. Sight impairment occurs in about 10% of patients, and only 5% experience blindness.

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