When it comes to eye health, glaucoma is a term that frequently comes up. But did you know that there are two main types of glaucoma, each with distinct characteristics and risk factors?
At Ophthalmology Associates of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, New York, our highly experienced team of experts detect glaucoma symptoms early, perform comprehensive diagnostics, and offer the most advanced treatments to save your sight.
Let’s break down the differences between open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma, shedding light on their causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Open-angle glaucoma, often referred to as "the silent thief of sight," is the most common form of glaucoma. It tends to develop gradually over time, often without noticeable symptoms until it reaches advanced stages. Here's what you need to know about open-angle glaucoma:
Open-angle glaucoma occurs when the drainage channels in your eye become clogged over time, leading to increased intraocular pressure. This pressure damages the optic nerve, eventually causing vision loss.
In its early stages, open-angle glaucoma rarely presents noticeable symptoms. However, as it progresses, you might experience peripheral vision loss, which can eventually lead to tunnel vision if left untreated.
Age, family history, race, and certain medical conditions like diabetes can increase your risk of developing open-angle glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma is usually managed with eye drops to lower intraocular pressure, laser therapy, or in some cases, surgery. Regular eye exams are crucial for early detection and intervention.
Angle-closure glaucoma is less common but more acute and can cause sudden and severe symptoms. It occurs when the drainage angle between your iris and cornea narrows, causing a sudden increase in intraocular pressure. Here's a closer look at angle-closure glaucoma:
Angle-closure glaucoma can occur when the drainage angle is blocked or becomes too narrow, preventing the aqueous humor (the fluid in the front of the eye) from draining properly. This leads to a rapid increase in intraocular pressure.
Unlike open-angle glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma often presents with sudden and severe symptoms, including severe eye pain, headache, blurred vision, halos around lights, and nausea.
Hyperopia (farsightedness), advancing age, and certain ethnic backgrounds are associated with a higher risk of angle-closure glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention to relieve intraocular pressure. Treatment may involve medications to lower pressure, laser therapy, or surgery.
For prevention and early detection, regular eye exams are vital in catching glaucoma early. They allow our team of experts at Ophthalmology Associates of Bay Ridge to gauge your intraocular pressure and optic nerve health.
Being mindful of your personal risk factors empowers proactive prevention or management. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing diabetes, and shielding your eyes from UV rays further contribute to maintaining optimal eye health.
If you’re ready to learn more about glaucoma or wish to schedule an eye exam, our seasoned eye care team is ready to assist. Contact us or use our online scheduling tool to book your first appointment today!