What are the Different Types of Glaucoma?

There are many types of glaucoma. Often, the cause of high pressure in the eye can help tell the type of glaucoma and the best treatment for it. The most common types include:

Chronic (Open Angle) Glaucoma ► Chronic (Open Angle) Glaucoma ▼

This is the most common type. In open angle glaucoma, aqueous fluid drains too slowly and pressure inside the eye builds up. It usually results from aging of the drainage channel, which doesn't work as well over time. However, younger people can also get this type of glaucoma.

Normal Tension Glaucoma ► Normal Tension Glaucoma ▼

This is a form of open angle glaucoma not related to high pressure. People with normal tension glaucoma may be unusually sensitive to normal levels of pressure. Reduced blood supply to the optic nerve may also play a role in normal tension glaucoma.

Acute (Angle Closure) Glaucoma ► Acute (Angle Closure) Glaucoma ▼

Those of Asian and Native American descent are at higher risk for this form of glaucoma. It occurs when the drainage system of the eye becomes blocked. It causes a sudden rise in pressure, requiring immediate, emergency medical care. The signs are usually serious and may include blurred vision, severe headaches, eye pain, nausea, vomiting or seeing rainbow-like halos around lights. Occasionally, the condition may be without symptoms; similar to open angle.

Secondary Glaucoma ► Secondary Glaucoma ▼

Secondary glaucoma is the result of another eye condition or disease, such as inflammation, trauma, or tumor. For information about uveitis, an inflammation that can cause secondary glauoma, visit www.preventblindness.org/uveitis.


Glaucoma Educator Program

The Glaucoma Educator Course is a self-guided course for healthcare professionals, community health educators, diabetes educators, and anyone responsible for diabetes education for patients or clients.

The course equips health educators with important patient education messages about glaucoma and strategies for prevention early diagnosis.

Take the course online or find out more.