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Although glaucoma is commonly referred to as if it were one disease, it would be be more accurate to refer to “the glaucomas” plural. This is because glaucoma is actually a range of conditions in which the common feature is damage to the optic nerve. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma your eye specialist will tell you which type of glaucoma you have.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Primary open angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. It happens when the eye’s drainage canals become clogged over time or the tissues around the canals harden. This results in the pressure in the eye increasing because the fluid cannot drain out of the eye. Most people have no symptoms and no early warning signs.

Fact Sheet: Open Angle Glaucoma

Questions and Answers about Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
from Eyelights August 2006


Normal Tension Glaucoma

In Normal Tension Glaucoma the optic nerve is damaged even though intraocular pressure (IOP) is not particularly high. It is not yet understood why some people suffer optic nerve damage despite having apparently “normal” pressure levels.

Fact Sheet: Normal Tension Glaucoma


Angle Closure Glaucoma

The trabecular meshwork is where fluid exits from the eye in the corner, or angle, of a space called the anterior chamber. In Angle Closure Glaucoma (ACG) the angle becomes blocked by part of the iris. Fluid is obstructed from reaching the angle and pressure becomes high. There are various types of Angle Closure Glaucoma such as Intermittent, Chronic, and the sudden and severe Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma.

Fact Sheet: Angle Closure Glaucoma

Questions and Answers about Angle Closure Glaucoma
from Eyelights November 2006


Pigment Dispersion Syndrome

Pigment Dispersion Syndrome is another condition in which the trabecular meshwork, (the drainage gutter at the front of the eye), is unable to function properly. In Pigment Dispersion Syndrome (PDS) black pigment granules clog the meshwork, which prevents fluid from draining properly.

Fact Sheet: Pigment Dispersion Syndrome


Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome

In Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome (PXF) the trabecular meshwork, (the gutter which drains fluid away), becomes blocked by flaky, white material. It is estimated that PXF accounts for about 25% of glaucoma worldwide.

Fact Sheet: Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome


Paediatric Glaucoma

Children do get glaucoma. In many cases the cause is genetic, but sometimes Paediatric Glaucoma can occur following cataract surgery or following trauma to the eye, or ocular inflammation.


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