Glaucoma is an eye condition that usually is found in older patients. Patients with glaucoma have damage to the optic nerve of the eye which results in vision loss.
There are two main forms of glaucoma:
- Open Angle Glaucoma
- Angle Closure Glaucoma.
Open angle glaucoma is the most prevalent form of glaucoma and it often is undetected in the early stages.
The reason open angle glaucoma goes undetected is because it is painless and the person does not realize they are suffering from a serious disease until it becomes severe. That is why it is important to have regular eye exams to check for diseases such as glaucoma that can slowly become more damaging over time.
The other main form of glaucoma is called angle closure glaucoma. This is much less common than open angle glaucoma but it can also cause damage to the optic nerve. Angle closure glaucoma spreads faster and can cause more damage than open angle glaucoma.
Regardless of the form of glaucoma the results are the same in that there is damage to the optic nerve. As the eye is damaged by glaucoma, optic nerve fibers are destroyed and the optic nerve becomes pitted.
As the loss of tissue progresses, it becomes visible to the doctor examining the eye, helping make the diagnosis of glaucoma. The progressive loss of optic nerve tissue causes loss of vision as well. Peripheral vision will be lost first then followed by central vision. Glaucoma is not diagnosed quickly could lead to blindness.