- Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world.
- 1 in 200 adults aged 50 and older have glaucoma.
- 1 in 10 adults aged 80 and older have glaucoma.
- People with an African-American descent, medical conditions like diabetes, or with a family history are at a higher risk and can contract the disease at an earlier age.
- If you are over the age of 40, you should have an eye exam at least once every two years. If you are at a higher risk, you should have an eye exam once a year.
Types of Glaucoma
There are three different types of glaucoma:
- Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
- Angle-Closure Glaucoma
- Primary Congenital Glaucoma
Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma
When your eye’s drainage canals are gradually blocked over time, preventing aqueous humor from leaving the eye, you are suffering from primary open-angle glaucoma. About three million Americans suffer from this type of glaucoma, making it the most common form of the disease. This form usually responds well to medication if treated early.
Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the iris inside the eye moves or is pushed forward and causes the drainage canals to become suddenly blocked or pinched. When the drainage canals are blocked the pressure within the eye rapidly rises so angle-closure glaucoma happens rather quickly. Symptoms range from headaches, eye pain, nausea, blurred or cloudy vision, red eye, or feeling as if your eye is swollen. These symptoms can be severe and need to be treated right away. Call your eye doctor immediately.
Primary Congenital Glaucoma
This form of glaucoma is present at birth, and usually diagnosed within the first year of life. It occurs when the drainage canals are not properly formed. Surgical treatment is painless to the patient and will be performed when the patient is sleeping.