Not every case of glaucoma is the same. While there are many variations of this common eye condition, the disease is typically classified in two major categories:
- Open angle glaucoma: Also known as chronic glaucoma, this form of glaucoma is characterized by a buildup of fluid in the eye due to a blockage of the eye’s watery (aqueous) fluid. Open angle glaucoma typically develops gradually, is the most common form of glaucoma, and can eventually lead to increased and abnormal eye pressure. If left untreated, this fluid buildup and abnormal pressure in the eye can damage the optic nerve (and its smaller branches), eventually leading to blindness.
- Acute angle glaucoma: Also referred to as narrow-angle glaucoma, this type of glaucoma is characterized by an arched iris that can cause a much more sudden blockage of aqueous. Due to the abrupt nature of this condition, patients will often experience sudden eye pain, blurry vision, and even nausea or vomiting. Acute angle glaucoma requires immediate attention, as loss of peripheral and/or total vision can occur if eye pressure is too high for too long.
Since open angle glaucoma tends to develop gradually and can often go undetected by patients for quite some time, annual eye exams performed by experienced eye care professionals like Dr. Jay C. Grochmal are essential to maintaining good ocular health. In the event you believe you are suffering from acute angle glaucoma, however, you should seek out immediate attention in order to receive treatment as quickly as possible.