Glaucoma is an umbrella term, which describes diseases that affect the optic nerve, the pathway of vision from the eye to the brain. Protecting this nerve from injury is important as it is not repairable once damaged.
There are other diseases that affect the optic nerve, which are not glaucoma, what is unique about glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure, or eye pressure. However, people’s sensitivity to eye pressure varies so one person’s elevated pressure might not be a problem for another. Intraocular pressure can rise above normal for that eye for all sorts of reasons, and may do so only intermittently.
Types of Glaucoma
Open Angle Glaucoma
Open angle means that there is nothing in front of the drain plug, the angle, which we can see. It may mean that things have deposited into the drain plug and obstructed it, or that it has become inflamed, or that is has become non-porous over time.
Angle Closure Glaucoma
Closed angle means that the iris has obstructed in front of the drain plug. In general we try to prevent the angle closure from developing, but we wait until we are clear that open angle glaucoma is occurring.
There are many other types of glaucomas, including inflammatory, trauma, lens induced, pigmentary, in relation to other eye surgery, steroid induced and more.