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About the condition

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions which cause optic nerve damage and can affect your vision.

Causes of glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the drainage channels within the eye become slightly blocked, which prevents eye fluid from draining properly. When the fluid cannot drain, pressure, called intraocular pressure builds up. This pressure can damage the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain and the nerve fibres from the retina.

Find out how you can treat glaucoma by visiting our treatment page.

There are four types of Glaucoma:-

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma - this is the most common type of glaucoma and develops very slowly.
    Symptoms of primary open angle glaucoma - more often than not patients do not notice any symptoms. A routine check with the optician will often identify any suspected irregularities.
  • Acute angle-closure glaucoma - this is rare and can occur slowly or may develop rapidly with a sudden, painful build-up of pressure in the eye.
    Symptoms of acute angle-closure glaucoma - redness of the eye, halos and misty vision, intense pain, headaches, loss of vision in one or both eyes quickly and tenderness around the eyes. The symptoms are intermittent and further damage is caused to the eye(s) each time they occur.
  • Secondary glaucoma - this occurs as a result of an eye injury or another eye condition such as inflammation of the middle layer of the eye.
    Symptoms of secondary glaucoma - it is possible for the symptoms of glaucoma to be confused with the symptoms of the other condition which can cause headaches and painful eyes. However, the glaucoma may still cause misty vision or halos around lights.
  • Developmental glaucoma (congenital glaucoma) - this is rare but can be serious. It is usually present at birth or develops shortly after birth. It is caused by an abnormality of the eye.
    Symptoms of developmental glaucoma - large eyes, sensitive to light, cloudy eyes, watery eyes, jerky eye movements and a squint.