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Narrow Angle Glaucoma vs. Open Angle Glaucoma: Which is Worse?

Knowledge of glaucoma has been around since the time of Hippocrates. Glaucoma eye disease is primarily caused when high pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP), damages the optic nerve. This damage can generally be stopped, but not reversed, by lowering the pressure. Two types of glaucoma are open angle and closed angle glaucoma.

Open angle glaucoma is chronic and gets worse slowly over time, with incremental damage to the optic nerve from multiple possible sources. This is the most common form of glaucoma, and a major health concern worldwide due to its silently progressive nature. It is one of the most preventable causes of blindness, and with regular screening and treatment by an ophthalmologist, you can catch open-angle glaucoma and stop it before significant vision loss.

Narrow angle glaucoma symptoms could be mild, such as short periods of blurred vision, or more severe, with longer episodes of blurry vision or pain around the eye. You might also experience colored halos around lights, red eyes, nausea or vomiting. Only about 10% of glaucoma cases in the United States are attributed to closed-angle glaucoma, which is caused by the iris and lens blocking free movement of fluid between chambers of the eye. This blockage creates pressure when the iris presses against the eye’s drainage system.

Because open angle glaucoma can creep up on you gradually, it is potentially more dangerous. If you are over age 70, have a of glaucoma, or are diabetic, make sure your doctor checks you regularly for signs of glaucoma. Both open and narrow angle glaucoma types are treated with eye drops, and sometimes surgery or laser treatment may be necessary. As always, the best treatment is early detection.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.